- Catch a sunrise over iconic Angkor Wat, the world's largest religious site
- Tour three Cambodian temples built at the beginning of the Khmer Empire
- Visit the floating villages across the largest lake in Southeast Asia
- Buy exotic fruit and souvenirs at the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
- Relax on the white sands of Phuket's beaches
|Day 1||Arrive in Siem Reap, Explore & Watch a Circus Show||Siem Reap|
|Day 2||Explore Angkor Archaeological Park||Siem Reap|
|Day 3||Discover Banteay Srei, Banteay Samre & the Roluos Temples||Siem Reap|
|Day 4||Visit the Floating Villages of Tonlé Sap Lake & Fly to Bangkok||Bangkok|
|Day 5||Tour Bangkok||Bangkok|
|Day 6||Visit the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market||Bangkok|
|Day 7||Fly to Phuket & Explore||Phuket|
|Day 8||Half-Day Tour of Phuket||Phuket|
|Day 9||Beach Day in Phuket||Phuket|
|Day 10||Day Trip to Phang Nga Bay||Phuket|
|Day 11||Depart Phuket|
Day 1: Arrive in Siem Reap, Explore & Watch a Circus Show
Welcome to Siem Reap, the gateway to the largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat. Your private driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in the city, where you can rest or head out to explore at your own pace. Visit Artisans Angkor, a social project preserving traditional Khmer crafts and giving educational and job opportunities to young people from rural areas. Here you can see how local artisans create their masterpieces and buy hand-made products such as silk and textiles, jewelry, and wood carvings.
In the afternoon (during the dry season from November to April), you can enjoy a panoramic view of Angkor Wat from a hot air balloon. Consider booking the flight at either sunrise or sunset for the most atmospheric views over the landscape. Then, in the evening, go for dinner and a show at Kanell restaurant. You can try artfully prepared Cambodian dishes and enjoy an Apsara Dance show, a classical Khmer performance rooted in Hindu and Buddhist mythology.
This evening, enjoy a circus show put on by Phare Ponleu Selpak, a nonprofit organization providing artistic training to underserved young Cambodians from Battambang province. The show offers an authentic insight into Cambodian history and culture. Each performance features acrobatics and live music to reveal an important piece of Khmer history, transporting you back to the Khmer Rouge period and then to current Khmer society. After the show, you'll return back to your hotel.
Day 2: Explore Angkor Archaeological Park
Today you'll wake up early to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat. Then return to the hotel for breakfast before returning to the Angkor Archaeological Park for the day. Begin at the ancient ruins of the South Gate of Angkor Thom, famous for the stone faces lining the path to the entrance.
Once within Angkor Thom's gates, explore several temples, like the Buddhist Bayon Temple, the Royal Palace, and the Kleang-style Hindu temple Phimeanakas. As you walk through the complex, you'll encounter decorative terraces like the Elephant Terrace, decorated with carvings of the animal, and the Terrace of the Leper King, named for a statue of Darmaraja, a king who had leprosy, found on-site.
Of course, you'll have plenty of time to explore Angor Wat. Built in the 12th century, the temple complex sprawls over about 518 acres (210 ha) of land, making it the largest religious monument in the world. Afterward, you'll visit the famous jungle-covered temple of Ta Prohm. Here enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers have woven themselves into the stone foundations of the structure, giving the impression that the powerful forces of nature are reclaiming the temple.
Day 3: Discover Banteay Srei, Banteay Samre & the Roluos Temples
Enjoy another day of touring the Angkor region, starting with Banteay Samré, a 12th-century Hindu temple built in the Angkor Wat style. Then head to Banteay Srei, a 10th-century temple devoted to Shiva, one of the principal deities in Hinduism. Constructed out of red sandstone, Banteay Srei is famous for its intricate carvings covering nearly every surface, earning it the nickname the "jewel of Khmer art."This afternoon, you'll check out Roluos, an archaeological site once part of the ancient Khmer capital city, Hariharalaya. Here you'll find three temples from the ninth century, the beginning of the Khmer empire, and modern Buddhist monasteries. Start at Preah Ko, the first temple in the area by King Indravarman I in honor of his family. Next, visit Bakong, a stepped pyramid or "temple mountain," before wrapping up your visit at Lolei, a temple originally built on an island in a reservoir that has since dried up.
Day 4: Visit the Floating Villages of Tonlé Sap Lake & Fly to Bangkok
This morning, head about 11 miles (18 km) south of Siem Reap toward Tonlé Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. Your private boat will lead you across the lake to its famous floating villages and permanent communities built on the water, including schools, markets, and restaurants. Learn how the communities sustain themselves throughout the seasons, visit restaurants, or take a boat ride through flooded forests of mangrove trees.
A private transfer will bring you to Siem Reap International Airport for your flight to Bangkok. Your guide and driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel, where you'll have time to relax. Welcome to Thailand!
Day 5: Tour Bangkok
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: Visit the Damnoen Saduak Floating MarketHave breakfast at the hotel and head west from Bangkok to Ratchaburi Province to visit the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, a bustling marketplace in meandering klongs (canals). Here, you'll find boats full to the brim with fruits like mangosteen and durian, fresh herbs and vegetables, and even street food cooked aboard the boats and handed to tourists on the banks. Browse, shop, and haggle before stopping for lunch and heading back to the hotel.
Day 7: Fly to Phuket, Explore
Enjoy a final morning in Bangkok before taking a private transfer to the airport to fly to Phuket. Upon arrival, you'll be transferred to your hotel for check-in. Spend a free day exploring Phuket, Thailand's largest island. Set on the Andaman coast, Phuket is known for its powdery beaches, neon nightlife, and luxury resorts. The island is also home to diverse landscapes ranging from tropical rainforest to palm-fringed beaches and craggy limestone cliffs.
Hit the beach to sunbathe, sit back with a cold drink, and then wade into the warm water for a swim or some snorkeling. You can discover more about Phuket's underwater life at the aquarium in Cape Panwa. If you're feeling adventurous, visit Hanuman World Phuket to soar through the jungle on a series of adrenaline-pumping ziplines. In the evening, feast on seafood, browse the night market and drink on lively Bangla Road.
Day 8: Half-Day Tour of Phuket
In the morning, hop in a van for a half-day tour to see the highlights of Phuket. Go beyond the beautiful beaches and visit historic landmarks and incredible sites in the city and farther inland. Accompanied by an expert guide, you'll begin the tour with a scenic drive along golden bays, stopping to enjoy panoramic views of the famous Promthep Cape, which, incidentally, offers one of the best sunset views in the region.
Later on, visit Wat Chalong, the largest of Phuket's 29 temples. Built in the 19th century, the temple honors two monks, Luang Pho Cham and Luang Pho Chuang, known for their aid against a Chinese rebellion in 1876 and healing the sick with herbal medicine. Wrap up your sightseeing with a visit to the Phuket Cashew Nut Factory, where cashews are processed from raw plants into an array of delicious snacks. Sample at least 10 types of cashews before returning to your hotel for a free afternoon.
Day 9: Beach Day in Phuket
Soak up the sun with a beach day in Phuket. The island is famed for its outstanding beaches that offer everything from watersports to relaxation. Kata Beach is an excellent option with soft white sand, shady palm trees, food vendors, and a laid-back atmosphere. Another option, Nai Harn Beach, located in a small bay, has remained relatively underdeveloped, though you can find some great hotels, shops, and restaurants nearby for food and drink.
If you're looking for something quieter, head to Freedom Beach, where you can find the best white sands in Phuket. Although it's more challenging to get to—it requires a steep hike or a boat ride to get there—so you'll escape the motorized watersports and beach vendors for a truly peaceful experience.
Day 10: Day Trip to Phang Nga Bay
This morning, head north on a cruise of Phang Nga Bay. A luxury boat will ferry you past karst islets to two canoe destinations, Panak Island and Hong Island. A local guide will show you hidden caves and lagoons among the mangroves. Enjoy a buffet lunch on the boat.
In the afternoon, visit Khao Phing Kan. This romantic island is most known for Ko Ta Pu, a towering limestone islet about 130 feet (40 m) offshore. Its famous nickname is "James Bond Island" because it was a shooting location in "The Man with the Golden Gun." On Khao Phing Kan, you'll spend time at a secluded beach for swimming and sunbathing, then around 3:30 pm, return to the boat and transfer back to Phuket.