Laos & Cambodia
Code: LSWHWPrint page
Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
This new tour gives a real insight into the two countries of Laos and Cambodia, where French colonial styles meet Khmer architecture, Buddhist temples and rural wooden structures on stilts. We start in northern Laos in Luang Prabang, the former royal capital, and roughly follow the course of the mighty Mekong in a southerly direction. The tour finishes in Siem Reap in Cambodia, home to the largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat.
- Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of Luang Prabang
- Explore remote Kuang Si falls on foot
- Learn about coffee processing on Bolaven Plateau
- Enjoy the peace of the 4000 Islands and spot the Irrawaddy dolphins
- Walk in the Kulen Mountains
- Discover the Khmer temples of Angkor Wat
- 15 nights accommodation in en-suite rooms
- Full board from dinner on day 2 to breakfast on day 17 (less 1 lunch and 5 dinners)
- A full holiday programme led by specialist local guides, and an HF Holidays' leader
- All entrance fees, transport and internal flights
3 to 4-star hotels which have been chosen for their character and location. You’ll be staying in boutique hotels, a lodge overlooking the Mekong, and a former governor’s residence, with a mix of traditional and modern, but all representing typical Lao & Cambodian styles. Some offer swimming pools and spas.
Villa Santi Resort, Luang Prabang (3nts) - located approx 10 mins drive from central Luang Prabang. This 4-star boutique hotel combines traditional Lao architecture with modern comforts. It has 67 elegant rooms. There is a plunge pool for you to use at the end of your day's activities. (The November tour will stay at the Sada hotel)
Athena Hotel, Pakse (2nts) - 3-star hotel built in 2012, the Athena is a charming and comfortable hotel in the centre of town. The hotel uses dark wood and various colonial touches creating a clean and classic finish. The hotel has a swimming pool.
Sala Done Khone, Don Khone Island (2nts) - this hotel is situated in a stunning river front location, at the point where the mighty Mekong is at its widest. The hotel consists of several cottages, floating bungalows and villas, all with colonial influences. One of the top places to stay in the region, but perhaps not as luxurious as the other accommodations on this tour.
Terres Rouge Lodge, Ban Lung (2nts) A boutique hotel on the shores of lake Ban Lung, Terres Rouge Lodge is the mix of a Cambodian villa and luxurious bungalows in the middle of an exotic garden. The lodge was the former residence of the governor of the province and combines the traditions of the past with modern comforts. The hotel has a pool.
Rajabori Villas, Kratie Koh Trong Island (1nt) The Rajabori is a resort comprising 13 traditional Khmer wooden houses located north of the island of Koh Trong in front of the town of Kratie. Access is by boat then on the back of a moped.
Teav Bassac Boutique Hotel, Phnom Penh (1nt). The hotel has beautiful tropical gardens with an outdoor swimming pool. Spacious rooms are equipped with bathrobes, bottled water, hairdryer, tv, minibar, safe, tea/coffee making facilities, wifi.
Shinta Mani Resort, Siem Reap (4nts). The Shinta Mani Resort is a newly renovated boutique property centrally located in the leafy French Quarter between The Royal Gardens and the Old Market Area just 15 minutes from Angkor Wat. The courtyard-style resort’s 62 rooms enjoy a surprisingly different “Bensley twist” with direct access or first floor balcony views to the stunning swimming pool and flourishing tropical gardens.
On occasion we may need to change the accommodation listed above. If this happens, your replacement accommodation will be of the equivalent standard or higher. In the rare instance this is not possible, we will contact you in advance.
A good mix of walks and sightseeing. Walks are between 3 and 8 miles (5-13km) with some significant ascent. One of the walks has a short steep descent. Walks can be through jungles, rice fields, temple complexes with steps, and towns.
Day 1: flight from the UK.
Days 2-4: arrive Luang Prabang (3nts). Traditional Laos ceremony, visit night market. Early morning Buddhist alms ritual. Tour of Luang Prabang with boat trip to Pak Ou Caves, visits to National Museum and temples. Walk up Phousi hill for sunset. Full day tour/walk to Kuang Si Waterfalls, and meet Hmong minority villagers.
Days 5-6: fly to Pakse (2nts). Explore UNESCO Wat Phu ruins. Jeep ride to Bolaven plateau to coffee plantations. Walk to remote waterfalls and meet locals.
Days 7-8: visit Xe Pian nature reserve en route to Don Khone island (2nts) on the mighty Mekong. See 4000 islands and visit ‘Niagara of the East’. Walk to Liphi waterfall.
Days 9-10: cross to Cambodia and travel to Ban Lung (2nts) in the hilly Ratanakiri province. Walks around Yaklom lake and to Katcha villages.
Day 11: travel along the Mekong to Kratie and take a boat to Koh Trong Island (1nt). Walk around the island, take part in a tree planting ceremony (time permitting).
Day 12: boat trip to see the Irawaddy freshwater dolphins. Long drive to Phnom Penh (1nt).
Days 13-16: tour of Phnom Penh, fly to Siem Reap (4nts). Explore the amazing temple complex of Angkor Thorn, Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat. Visit Kompong Kleang floating village and walk in the Kulen mountains.
Day 17: depart Siem Reap for UK. Arrive mid evening
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Laos.
For the most up to date information, contact the nearest Lao Embassy or Consulate and the Royal Cambodian Embassy, or the Cambodia Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Co-operation website.
You can get a visa on arrival in Laos for around US$35 or Thai Baht 1,500.00. You will need one passport photo. Alternatively, you can get a visa by contacting the Lao Embassy in London. You can get a visa on arrival at most ports of entry to Cambodia. Payment is in $US only. Bring 2 passport photos. An ‘T-class’ visa costs US$30 for 1 month.
Travellers should be up to date with routine vaccination courses and boosters as recommended in the UK. These vaccinations include for example measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and diphtheria-tetanus-polio vaccine. Before booking, you should check with your doctor to see if any health precautions are needed. The following websites provide a wealth of information on travelling and health: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk www.traveldoctor.co.uk The following vaccinations are recommended, Hepatitis A, Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid. Some may also want to consider Cholera, Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, Tuberculosis. Laos & Cambodia are both malaria zones, so please ensure you take measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, and you will need to take anti-malarial tablets.
Both Laos and Cambodia are tropical countries and generally hot all year round − there are two seasons, wet and dry, so it can be hot and wet, or hot and dry. The average temperature in north Laos can vary from 23° in November, to 29° in March. Temperatures in Cambodia follow a similar pattern with November being the coolest month to travel. All of our travel dates are in the dry season.
The Cambodian authorities have issued an official dress code for visiting Angkor Wat and other religious sites. Visitors should not wear skirts or shorts above the knee or tops that reveal bare shoulders; visitors not following the dress code are liable to be refused admission to the sites.
The currency in Laos is the Lao kip (LAK). It is better to pay with small notes when buying from vendors because they often lack sufficient change. Laos currency cannot be obtained outside of the country, and prices are often quoted in US dollar (£1 = 11,836 LAK)
The currency in Cambodia is the riel (KHR), which similarly cannot be obtained out of the country (£1 = 5,753 riel). US dollars are widely accepted.
Credit cards are widely accepted in major towns and cities, but ensure you have enough currency when you're staying in more rural areas.
Note - if taking dollars, they must be clean, and not ripped, or bent.
Laos and Cambodia are 7 hours ahead of GMT.
Tips are included in the price of your holiday.
For flight information please see the dates and prices tab
Gwynneth has been leading for HF Holidays for several years, guiding a variety of holidays from family weeks and guided walking to worldwide tours. She is widely travelled and has trekked in destinations as far flung as Greenland, Easter Island, the Himalaya and the Galapagos. She has also camped in Oman, sailed from Bluff, New Zealand to the sub-Antarctic islands and Antarctica visiting both Scott’s and Shackelton’s huts and the American, New Zealand and Italian bases there.
She has led many holidays in our Worldwide Journeys selection including: Nepal, Yellowstone, Glacier and the Grand Tetons, New Zealand (on many occasions), Morocco, Alaska, Hawaii, Chile, Vietnam, St Lucia, Iceland and Cuba and is now looking forward to exploring Laos & Cambodia with you.
Gwynneth will be leading our 18 November 2017 departure.
Dates & Prices
|19 Nov 2017||LSWHW - Indochina Revealed - Laos & Cambodia||15||£2,599.00||Book Now|
- Single room: £630
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person