Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
Though many travel to Southeast Asia simply for a taste of waving palm trees and sandy beaches encircled by crystal seas, it is also home to a vast number of spectacular temples and monuments with expansive religious histories, highly valued by locals and tourists alike. From Thailand to Laos to Cambodia, experience an absorption into the height of Southeast Asia’s spiritually influenced culture with adventures into sacred sites that are sometimes jaw-dropping - such as Luang Prabang’s Pak Ou caves set within extraordinary limestone - or sometimes startling, such as the famed “Hell Garden” of Bangkok’s Wang Saen Suk Monastery.
After arriving in Bangkok, enjoy a private transfer to your hotel, either the Siam Hotel - set along the Chao Phraya River within a vibrant garden - or the striking Peninsula Hotel, both of which present luxurious getaways swathed in classic Thai charm. Spend the rest of the afternoon at your leisure.
Start your first full day in Bangkok at the stunning Grand Palace, the residence of the noteworthy Emerald Buddha. Next, you’ll head over to Wat Pho for a glimpse of a giant reclining Buddha and marvel over Wat Suthat, one of Bangkok’s oldest temples - characterized by the enormous swing at its entrance. After a visit to the impressive Wat Arun on the river, tour the Wang Saen Suk Monastery and its famous “Hell Garden”. Optionally have an expert accompany you for more in-depth history and insight.
A half-day of touring will commence at Wat Saket, or “Temple of the Golden Mount”, set on a hill with an expansive view after a climb of about 300 stairs. Then, discover the fascinating design of Wat Ratchanatdaram, said to be inspired by the metal temples of ancient India and Sri Lanka. Depending on availability, a resident monk will lead you around the temple. A flight to Chiang Mai will follow in the afternoon, and then you are free to enjoy a luxurious evening at the Four Seasons hotel.
Start off your adventure in Chiang Mai at the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a sacred temple overlooking the city. Enjoy a blessing at the top as you learn about the fascinating legend it is founded upon. Later, experience the peaceful Wat Umong, a 13th-century temple set within a quiet forest setting famous for the series of tunnels that define it. After, you can explore the city by rickshaw, before settling in for a Khantoke dinner and baci ceremony, a ritual used to celebrate important occasions.
Spend the morning at the serene Wat Chiang Man, Chiang Mai’s oldest temple, and take part in a unique Buddhist practice - a Prolonging Life ceremony, a refreshing cultural experience that will grant you a new perspective on the meditative religion. Afterwards, a one-hour flight will take you to Luang Prabang, where you will settle into either the opulent comforts of Amantaka or the Belmond La Residence.
Begin your first full day in Laos at Wat Xieng Thong, one of Luang Prabang’s most popular attractions due to its remarkable beauty and historic influence. Visits to the Wat Tham Phousi Shrine, featuring a big-bellied Buddha en route to the panoramic summit of Mount Phousi; to Wat Visoun, Luang Prabang’s oldest temple, established in 1512; and to Wat Phon Phao - which will include an enlightening meeting with a senior monk - will follow.
Rise early to experience a sacred Alms Giving Ceremony and a bustling morning market. The day will continue with a blessing at the decorative Wat Mai, followed by a house visit in a local village for a unique lesson in the spiritual practice of religious floral arrangement, where you can discover how Buddhist offerings are created in a bouquet style. This will be succeeded by a river cruise to the Pak Ou caves, a reverent site rich in religious history, tucked within a spectacular limestone cliff.
After a flight from Luang Prabang to Siem Reap - taking approximately three-and-a-half hours - spend the afternoon on a river cruise to Prasat Chrung, one of the four temples guarding the corners of Angkor Thom, via traditional gondola and best enjoyed at sunset with a glass of wine in hand. In the evening, settle into your suite at the picturesque Amansara and enjoy the natural Cambodian scenery of lush forest and surrounding rice paddies.
Commemorate your first full day in Siem Reap with an early morning exploration of the largest religious monument in the world - Angkor Wat. Instead of merely wandering amidst it on foot, step it up a notch - a 20-minute helicopter ride is arranged to give you a full glimpse of its sweeping majesty from the sky - followed by lunch at a private temple. Later, delve into the National Angkor Museum, and then experience the inspiring “Great City” - Angkor Thom.
Under the guidance of an expert archaeologist, enjoy a morning at Ta Prohm, Angkor’s most intriguing ruin due to the fact that it has been almost completely cloaked by the jungle surrounding its tumbled walls. Follow this up with visits to the unique temples of Banteay Srei and Banteay Samre, and later experience the marvel of a Buddhist water blessing. In the evening, delight in a private temple dinner.