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.This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.
After arriving in Bangkok, enjoy a private transfer to your hotel set along the Chao Phraya River, 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 your 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 opulent comforts.
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. I
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.
Blessed - in more ways than one - by a new reservoir of memorable experiences and spiritual renewal, depart back to Bangkok or onward at your own leisure.
Overlooking the Chao Phraya river, the iconic Peninsula’s commanding views of the city’s skyline make it one of the most elegant choices in Bangkok. Designed with a blend of modern and traditional Thai decor, the hotel provides all of the comforts of home with an exotic flair, all with the level of quality service and amenities that define the Peninsula. The hotel boasts three restaurants: Mei Jiang for Cantonese cuisine; Thiptara for Thai home-style cooking on an open-air pavilion; and the River Cafe and Bar, located on the banks of the river. The excellent spa, ESPA, offers state-of-the-art treatments, and an extensive fitness center includes a pool set in a garden complex. The Peninsula is located approximately 45 minutes by car from Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK).
The Siam Hotel is set on 3 acres of verdant lawn along the city side of Bangkok’s main river, the Chao Praya. The Siam is a private 39-room luxury retreat with its own unique historical background located in Bangkok’s royal Dusit district. Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Bill Bensley, the property is Art Deco inspired with infusions of Thai antiques and traditional architecture. Guests have an array of amenities at their fingertips: restaurants, a cooking school, bar, café, spa, gym, yoga terrace, Muay Thai boxing ring, beauty salon, library/cinema, infinity pool, gift/antiques gallery, conservatory and traditional Thai houses. The Siam’s 39 suites and pool villas are noticeably spacious and well equipped with modern conveniences. All rooms are outfitted with plush furnishings, super-sized king beds and lofty ceilings. Each suite is individually designed with original turn-of-the-century Oriental artwork and antiquities and is catered for by a personal butler. Complimentary WiFi is available property-wide. Onsite dining options include a Thai restaurant, international cuisine bistro, bar and coffee and cakes shop. The Siam Hotel is approximately 50 minutes from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK).
Nestled on the banks of Bangkok’s bustling Chao Phraya River, the Four Seasons Bangkok is designed around water-centric serenity and fluidity, inspired by the riverfront location. Situated in a vibrant part of the city, guests can view the abundance of activity on the river and enjoy nearby restaurants and cafes, art galleries and temples, with easy access to the various shopping and cultural activities for which “The City of Angels” is renowned. Guests seeking a holistic experience can avail themselves of the hotel's two infinity pools, spa and wellness center, a well-equipped fitness center and a 98-foot lap pool.
Drawing on its reputation for elegance and personalization, the Capella Bangkok is nestled along the east bank of the Chao Phraya River, providing panoramic views from all 101 rooms, suites, and villas. The hotel has also thrown a couple of hats into the capital city’s ring of culinary offerings with two gourmet restaurants and a waterfront patio area that’s perfect for al-fresco dining. Three-Michelin-starred Argentinian chef Mauro Colagreco is the mastermind behind much of Capella’s cuisine, and there is a specialty bar offering desserts and artisan cocktails. Among other amenities, there is an oriental tea lounge, open-air spa, outdoor pool, and even an in-house Capella Library. Finally, in trademark Capella fashion, personal assistants are made available to guests to ensure a luxury stay in Bangkok.
The Four Seasons Chiang Mai blends with its natural surroundings seamlessly, with trees growing between and around the resort, overlooking terraced rice fields and the mountains of the Mae Rim Valley. The resort has 64 boutique pavilions, each with a private veranda, as well as 16 private luxury residences. The Sala Mae Rim serves Thai cuisine and offers sweeping views of the valley below, and the Terraces have international dishes with a view of the Doi Suthep mountain range. The hotel has a health club with state of the art equipment, including a sauna, herbal steam room, whirlpool, cold plunge pool, 20-meter infinity edge swimming pool, a business center and wi-fi access. There are also mountain bikes available for use, along with maps of trails through the surrounding forest. The Spa at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai has seven treatment suites with rain shower massage tables and private herbal steam rooms. Professional spa therapists can help you choose the best treatment package for your needs. The hotel is 25 minutes from Chiang Mai International Airport.
Located in the heart of Wat Gate, an area in Chiang Mai that was formerly designated to foreigners by the government, 137 Pillars House sits idyllically along the Ping River, adjacent to Wat Gate Khar Rham Temple. Combining the regality of traditional Thai elegance with modern luxury, this boutique hotel offers amenities including high-speed wireless internet access, laundry service, a 24-hour on-call medical professional, babysitting services, a spa, outdoor swimming pool and a fitness facility. The Dining Room offers classic Thai cuisine, one of the many dining options offered at the hotel. 137 Pillars House is approximately 25 minutes by car from Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX).
Amantaka is set south of Phousi Mountain and close to the banks of the Mekong River and the Luang Prabang Night Market. The resort, an old French colonial building, is surrounded by a spacious courtyard, and has 24 suites – eight deluxe suites, four pool suites, eight Khan suites, two Mekong suites and two Amantaka suites, all with spacious interior and exterior living areas. Facilities include a spa, a fitness center, a library and a boutique art gallery. Amantaka is little more than a ten- minute drive from Luang Prabang International Airport (LPQ).
Located on a peninsula at the confluence of the Nam Kham and Mekong rivers, Luang Prabang is known for its Buddhist temples and monasteries, preserved traditional architecture, and remaining vestiges of Laos’ French colonial period. These elements earned it the distinction of being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. The city of just under 60,000 continues to inspire awe in tourists to this day, and with the opening of the Rosewood Luang Prabang, luxury travelers have the option to visit this destination while enjoying the level of comfort that the Rosewood Hotels and Resorts brand has staked its reputation on. The 24-room, suite, villa, and tent accommodations are designed by celebrated architect Bill Bensley and combine world-class luxury with local aesthetics. Guests are invited to enjoy locally sourced Laotian meals at The Great House or a drink and view from the Elephant Bridge Bar. There is also an opulent spa on site and a centrally located swimming pool, around which guests can enjoy a drink or a bite to eat in this haven of luxury.
Located approximately five miles from the famed Angkor Wat, Amansara is sleek, stylish and superbly private. Formerly the guest villa of King Norodom Sihanouk, the grounds were originally laid out in 1962 and designed to embrace both modern design and the rich artistic legacy of Cambodia. This tranquil oasis is surrounded by beautiful gardens and includes a curved slate swimming pool. The 24 suites are decorated in a classic Indochinese palette of cool gray, pristine white, dark timber and ivory, and all include a private courtyard and soothing water features; 12 suites are equipped with private swimming pools. The Roof Garden, shaded by trees, is the ideal venue for relaxing by candlelight with cocktails, or for invigorating morning yoga sessions. The Spa, which has four treatment rooms, focuses on therapeutic Cambodian techniques using organic products. Every suite has access to its own remork and driver. On the 2007 Zagat Survey list of the world’s best hotels, Amansara was ranked number two for service.
A grand, historic hotel, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor opened its doors in the early 1930s. It is located on the main road to Angkor Wat and was planned so that it aligns on a north-south axis with Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. Now sensitively restored, the hotel’s classic style coupled with its renewed modernity complement the grandeur of Angkor Wat. The hotel has 131 guest rooms and suites, each tastefully appointed with Art Deco-styled furnishings and Cambodian objets d’art. Guest services include the Raffles Amrita Spa, a fitness center, and a host of classes in the Raffles Amrita Pavilion, from Khmer dancing to Tai Chi. Elegant dining options range from the formal Restaurant Le Grand, to the Café d’Angkor, to the wide selection of cocktails at the famed Elephant Bar.
Situated in the cultural heart of the lively town of Siem Reap, the Bensley Collection - Shinta Mani Siem Reap features 10 ultra-luxe villas designed by celebrated architect Bill Bensley to reflect his idea of an idyllic life that is filled with privacy and surrounded by lush gardens. Beneath the cooling shadows of the town’s trees, these intimate compounds offer exceptional comfort in every aspect of a guest’s stay. The softest of beds, baths under stars, and diligent butlers lay the foundation for a rejuvenating experience. The hotel compound also houses a wide array of sleek and stylish dining venues that serve everything from authentic local dishes to tender Wagu steaks. All meals can be delivered to guest’s residences at any hour of the day.
Thailand has it all – from towering mountains, gilded temples, vibrant corals, ancient ruins and powdery white-sand beaches. Enjoy an 11-day journey through the diverse landscape of what’s known as the Land of Smiles. The hospitality along with the mouthwatering cuisine make this country a traveler’s favorite.
Gather your closest loved ones and go on a 13-day adventure that celebrates the best of life, from bustling cities to postcard-perfect natural landscapes. Tap into the electric pulse of busy cosmopolitan cities whose frenetic energy is even more lively at night. Taste the fragrant cuisines that tell a story of the people’s past and present. Slow it down to soak it all in with moments of serenity in misty mountains and turquoise lagoons. Relish these good times with friends and family and create fond memories that will be unforgotten.
Escape from the stresses of back home and retreat to the tropical shores of southern Thailand for 6 days of sandy beach, tropical jungle, warm seas, fresh seafood, and guided personalized wellness activities. Bring peace and mindfulness back into your life with meditation, yoga, and fitness. Pamper yourself with massage therapies and healing treatments. Nourish your body with southern Thailand’s freshest ingredients harvested from where the wild forest meets the sea. This immersive trip offers a balance of rejuvenating activities, delicious and fresh food experiences, and inspiring destination, helping you achieve a sense of well-being unique to southern Thailand.
A quick but luxurious 2-day adventure in the Northern Thailand city of Chiang Mai, this itinerary is the perfect add-on to any Southeast Asia trip. Bike through vibrant green tea fields, explore the city’s revered temples and pay a visit to a Hmong Village. This is an active exploration of the ancient city.
This nine-day itinerary will introduce you to the beauty and history of Northern Thailand. Visit authentic Lanna towns and traditional villages on the Sakae Krang River, explore a multitude of temples and ancient ruins, and spend a day interacting with elephants.
See the contrast of two cultures as they’re juxtaposed before your eyes on this 16-day luxury journey through Thailand’s Bangkok and Bhutan. You’ll compare the glimmering Grand Palace and Wat Arun to the ancient architecture of Bhutan’s monasteries, raft the Mo Chu river, and spend nights at the luxurious Amankora.
Spend 4 luxurious days getting acquainted with Thailand’s busy capital and surrounding quieter areas. Kanchanaburi is only a 2-hour trip from the bustling city but feels a world away. The well-preserved ancient ruins of Ayutthaya are a must-see in addition to Bangkok’s fantastic cultural and historical sites.
This five-day trip around Bangkok sees you appreciate the finer things in life, with a focus on personalized shopping experiences, unique and indulgent wellness treatments, as well as exclusive wining and dining with some of the city’s top chefs.
Combine the magic of Cambodia and Thailand with this specialized eight-day trip to the prized destinations of Siem Reap and Soneva Kiri. Spend the first half of the trip immersed in history and culture amidst the Angkor ruins, and celebrate tropical heaven during the second half at the darling Thai resort.
Retreat to the mountainous province of Chiang Rai on this 6-day trip to two different wellness destinations, Pa Sak Tong and Phu Saichai. Breathe in deep the fresh mountain air and unwind with pampering spa treatments, refocus with mindful meditation in the verdant fields, strengthen the body with jungle treks and biking, and refuel with organic wholesome meals. This luxury getaway into the cool and green hills of northern Thailand will leave you feeling refreshed and renewed.
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.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
An Asia-focused magazine brought to you by Remote Lands – a platform for adventure, luxury, and authenticity from experts and explorers around the continent.
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