Our adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. Bangkok has so much to offer those with time to explore - why not take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, uncover the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or indulge in some Thai massage? Pay a visit to Wat Pho, home to the country's largest reclining Buddha and keeper of the magic behind Thai massage. Explore the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
It's a long drive from Bangkok to Siem Reap (approx. 8-9 hours including border crossing and lunch) The small but expanding town of Siem Reap is the gateway to Angkor. It's markets are a great place to shop or to try some cheap, delicious street food.
Spend the next 2 days temple-hopping with our local guide to make the most of our visit to the world-famous Angkor complex. These temples were built between the 9th and 13th centuries when the Khmer empire was the pre-eminent influence in South-East Asia. The temples were believed to represent the cosmic world and were set in perfect balance, symmetry and composition. The intricately carved bas-reliefs and architectural designs are mind-blowing and there are spectacular photographic opportunities at any time of day - watching a sunrise or sunset is a must
Today is free for you to visit the Angkor Temples at your own pace.
Travel by private bus to Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh (approx 6 hrs). A great opportunity to look at the real Cambodia, we'll make several stops at points of interest along the way. It may be possible to see the cottage industry at Santuk Silk Farm and sample the local cuisine of deep-fried spiders at Skun. Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital, is set on a major junction of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers and boasts some fine examples of French-inspired architecture.
Confront Cambodia's tragic past on a guided tour of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former school which served as a Khmer Rouge torture centre. It's estimated that more than 20,000 people were held and tortured here. Head out to the Choeung Ek Memorial, where a stupa made up of some 8,000 human skulls marks the site of the infamous Killing Fields. This was the execution ground for the torture victims of Tuol Sleng and standing in this peaceful setting it's almost unthinkable to imagine that to date nearly 9000 corpses have been exhumed from the area. Learn about a brighter period in Cambodian history with a visit to the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. Explore Wat Phnom, a peaceful temple situated on a hill for which the city is named. According to legend, a 14th-century woman named Penh found sacred Buddhist objects in the nearby river and placed them here on the small hill. Check out the National Museum. Housed in a beautiful traditional building, it contains many outstanding examples of Khmer craftsmanship. Consider taking in the sites by cyclo! Tours generally take in the following: central market, US Embassy, Wat Phnom, Mekong river front, independence monument, finishing at the Royal Palace. Stroll along the famous Sisowath Quay and enjoy a coffee or cocktail at one of the many cafes while observing the busy river traffic.
Journey down the Mekong by speedboat, crossing the border into Vietnam, taking in the life on the Mekong Delta before arriving to Chau Doc (approx 4-5 hrs). Famous for floating houses and ethnic diversity, Chau Doc features Chinese, Cham and Khmer communities with their mosques, temples and churches.
Travel by private minibus to Ho Chi Minh City (approx 8 hrs).
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart our accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.