Wander Across THAILAND & CAMBODIA
Thailand and Cambodia…
This is actually where my own travels began, in this exact region, and these countries are still two of the most life-changing destinations I have ever visited.
From the people, to the history, to the food…from the culture to the religion to the lifestyle…. from the nature to the villages to the cities…this tour is designed to get a real taste of it all, with a special and unique emphasis on Cambodia.
The goal is to provide an experience that allows you to learn and challenge yourself while also giving you an opportunity to have one ridiculously enjoyable adventure in the process. And in my opinion, this region of the world is an ideal place to accomplish that goal.
Guide for this tour: Sakai (read more about Sakai here)
Day 1 - 2: Bangkok
Welcome to Thailand! Day 1 is arrival day and once everyone is all settled in, we’ll have an orientation to get things started. On Day 2, the group will set off to enjoy some of Bangkok’s highlights such as Lumpini Park, the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, offering the perfect introduction to this country. In the evening, for those who still have some energy, an opportunity to experience some of the city’s nightlife awaits.
Day 3 - 4: Kanchanaburi
With two days, we’ll learn about the history associated with the Bridge Over the River Kwai and the construction of the region’s infamous railway by allied POWs and Asian laborers under the Japanese. The setting is one of the most beautiful in all of Thailand and we’ll take in several stops en route to our hotel where you can enjoy the hot water spring and river beach. On our second day, we’ll visit the 7-tiered Erawan waterfall, take a short jungle trek and hop on a longtail boat for the last leg of the journey. We’ll end up at a unique hotel for this night (no electricity) set amidst the jungle near the border with Myanmar.
Day 5: Railway Journey
Today you will take what is considered one of the most stunning rail journeys in the world before disembarking at a small station after the most impressive section of the rail. We then drive back to Bangkok where we will use hotel facilities to clean up and relax in the afternoon before our 7:35pm overnight train to Chiang Mai.
Day 6 - 8: Chiang Mai
Day 6: A visit to the mountaintop Buddhist temple of Doi Suthep with some free time at night to enjoy the street food and market atmosphere of this beautiful city. Day 7: This free day has a range of optional activities – cooking class, a trip to the Elephant Conservation Centre or a trek through the Hill tribe regions. Day 8: With more time to explore the markets and the temples in the Old City, you may also get a massage at the women’s prison, where prisoners at the end of their sentences give traditional massages. Definitely one of the more unique experiences in this part of the country! A traditional lunch is also included.
Day 9 - 11: Siem Reap
Angkor Wat!! After a flight to Siem Reap, we’ll settle into our accommodation and spend two days exploring what is one of the most spectacular highlights of Asia. We’ll explore these magnificent ruins set amid the Cambodian jungle, all of which will leave quite an impression. You’ll visit the ruins at sunrise and at sunset, have a guided tour of the main structures and you’ll have time to explore the ruins on your own as well. Each evening, you’ll then have a chance to enjoy the laid-back nightlife of Siem Reap.
Day 12 - 13: Battambang
After a short bus ride, we’ll embark a local boat that will take us across the enormous Tonle Sap Lake towards the Sangke River. The river eventually turns into canals, allowing you to observe the lives of those living right on the water, most notably, on unique floating villages. Arriving in Battambang later in the day, we’ll spend some time relaxing at our hotel, in this interesting town that sees very few tourists. On the second day, we’ll take a very cool motorbike tour of the town and surrounding area (each person will be allocated a motorbike and driver) that will allow us to visit local homes, ask questions about the day-to-day lives of those living in this region, taste some locally prepared food and simply soak in the beautiful countryside.
Day 14: Bangkok
Returning to Thailand via van or bus, our 6-7 hour journey will take us back to Bangkok by late afternoon/early evening. After checking into the hotel, the group will meet up for a final group dinner as we celebrate the unforgettable adventure from the past two weeks!
Day 15: Departure Day
Guide: Sakai (read more about Sakai here)
*Local guides are used throughout the tour but Sakai will be with you the entire time.
Physical Level: While the tour itself is not very strenuous, please note that it can involve the following: somewhat long days, a good amount of walking, being in the sun in potentially hot temperatures, long journeys by bus or van, early morning wake-ups and other similarly challenging scenarios.
Accommodation: Prices are based on the sharing of rooms and single members of the group will typically be put together in a room with two beds. We will be using budget guesthouses/hotels of very good quality that offer comfortable, yet simple, facilities. Sometimes rooms might be without air-conditioning but fans will always be provided. (If you wish to have a private room to yourself, the single supplement cost is $410 USD.)
Subject to Change: Keep in mind that the above itinerary and activities are subject to change. Travel almost always involves unexpected situations so things might need to be re-arranged at times. However, it is important to remember that travel is all about the journey, and so even the unexpected situations we may face should be treated as part of the overall experience 🙂
Arrival Details: I do recommend arriving at least one day prior to the first day of the tour so that you’ll be well rested once it all begins. If you do arrive early, I can arrange the extra nights of accommodation for you in Bangkok. I will also be able to organize a pickup from the airport for a nominal fee.
INCLUDED in the tour cost:
– Accommodation – 13 nights at good-quality budget guesthouses & hotels (+1 overnight train)
– Meals – 10 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 4 dinners
– Transportation – all transportation within Thailand & Cambodia during the tour (flight from Chiang Mai to Siem Reap, local buses, vans, ferries)
– All activities mentioned above, all associated entrance and guide fees
Not included in the tour cost:
– Flights or other transportation to/from Southeast Asia
– Meals and activities not mentioned
– Travel/health insurance
– Passport/visa fees
– Tips and gratuities
“Awe. Some. Enough said. Sakai knows his stuff (local languages; best places away from the super frequented ones). He entertains. He’s helpful. And just overall a good guy. I consider myself lucky to have met him. Does not happen often.” – Paul H. (Luxembourg)
“Sakai was knowledgeable, hardworking, resourceful and the best part: caring… All of which made for a unique and enjoyable tour. I found him full of spontaneity and surprises which I thought made things more fun and less touristy.” – Anne T. (USA)
“Sakai is awesome! Speaks the languages and has a lot of connections, knows big time about history and culture of the area. Also super fun and flexible, but makes sure everything is done, I didn’t worry at all during the whole trip.” – Vanessa R. (Mexico)
“I was extremely happy with Sakai! He knew so much, not only about Cambodia and Thailand but was a fountain of knowledge about everything it seemed. His ability to speak the local languages also seemed to come in handy. He was very fun, caring and passionate about what he did…such a brilliant guide!” – Nadia R. (UK)