This tour is organised and led by Steve Davey | The land arrangements are sub-contracted to Intrepid Travel, but the tours don't appear on the Intrepid Travel website | The only way to book is through this site!
Laos is one of my favourite countries: it is languid, relaxed and welcoming. For all of it's turbulent past and Communist government Laos has also managed to preserve it's traditions and way of life: Buddhism is the national religion and you can see long lines of monks on their morning alms round. There are ancient and exquisite monasteries all over the country and Luang Prabang is reputed to be the best preserved town in Asia.
Cambodia is the perfect companion to Laos. The two countries were once part of the great Khmer empire that gave the world the temples of Angkor Wat and the ruins of Wat Champassak in Laos. We have time to explore Angkor aswell as some of the nearby villages including the floating village on Tonle Sap lake.
This trip ran successfully in 2011. We intend to run it again in the future and are looking into various options. In the meantime, we have a similar trip to Laos and Vietnam running in November 2012. To see more click on the tab to the right. There are some images from Lao New Year below.
Highlights of this trip
• Lao New Year festivities
• Historic Luang Prabang
• Enigmatic Plain of Jars
• Scenery at Vang Vieng
• Vibrant Buddhist culture
• Monasteries of Vientiane
• Ancient temples of Angkor
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Impressions of Laos & Cambodia Itinerary
Day 1: Bangkok
Day 2: Night Train
Day 3: Vientiane
Day 4: Vang Vieng
Day 5: Vang Vieng
Day 6: Phonsavan
Day 7: Phonsavan
Day 8: Luang Prabang
Day 9: Luang Prabang
Day 10: Luang Prabang
Day 11: Siem Reap
Day 12: Siem Reap
Day 13: Siem Reap
Day 14: Siem Reap
Day 15: Tour ends
Website, Images and text © Steve Davey/stevedavey.com 1990 - 2012
Land arrangements are sub-contracted to Intrepid Travel, who have many years experience in running small group adventures.
Bookings are made through the Intrepid Special Groups Dept. in Melbourne not the Intrepid website or Stores. Contact Steve Davey for information
End: Not scheduled
Price: £ TBA pp ex. int. flights, based on
Min 8, max 12 people
Approx other currencies*:
€ TBA • US$ TBA
AU$ TBA • NZ$ TBA
Note: if you have travelled with Intrepid and have a 5% feedback discount you can use it on this trip
Our adventure starts in the frenetic city of Bangkok. We don't spend too much time here, and if you can I would arrive a couple of days early for a good look around.
After a day of sightseeing we take a night train north to Nong Khai on the Laos border, before crossing the Friendship Bridge and driving the short distance to Vientiane. Although it has got busier in the past few years, Vientiane is still one of the sleepiest capital cities in the world. We explore some of the main sights, before taking driving to the beautiful karst limestone scenery around Vang Vieng, stopping en route at Nam Ngum Lake and one of the traditional weaving villages.
The scenery around Vang Vieng is stunning and perfect for sunset and sunrise shots. We will also explore some of the giant caves eroded into the rock.
In the remote north east of the country, near the town of Phonsavan, lies the ancient Plain of Jars. Giant carved stone jars litter the landscape, and no-one knows where they came from. This area was heavily bombed during the Vietnam War and there are many reminders of this, including villages that use cluster bomb casings for fenceposts.
The town of Luang Prabang is beautiful with dozens of Buddhists Wats or monasteries. Every morning hundreds of monks walk around ton on their morning alms round in a ritual that has changed little for generations. Every evening you can watch the sunset by the bank of the Mekong River whilst sipping a Beer Lao - the best beer in Asia.
Our visit to Luang Prabang is timed to coincide with the Lao New Year festivities or Pi Mai Lao. This is marked by processions, religious rituals and ever-present water throwing. It is a fun, if not wet time to be in South East Asia. We will have to take precautions over our photographic gear, but the advantage is that we get to take part in an ancient cultural festival, and photograph this wonderful town at it's most lively and interesting. This is the time when many of the postcards that you can buy in Luang Prabang were taken: especially the masked processions. The ceremonies last for some four days - longer than our time in Luang Prabang. The precise events had not been released when we scheduled the tour, so we have had to use our best efforts to make sure that we will be around for the main events. Co-ordinating this with our scheduled sight-seeing in the town may take some flexibility!
After Laos we fly to Siem Reap in Cambodia (NB flight IS included in trip price) in order to explore the incomparable temples of Angkor. An undisputed wonder of the world, these unbelievably lay hidden in the jungle for centuries. We have time to view all of the main temples, such as Angkor Wat itself, the haunting carved faces of the Bayon and Ta Phrom,which has giant trees growing out of it's walls. We also visit some of the atmospheric outlying sites, which are generally less crowded.
The tour finishes in Siem Reap, giving the option to spend a few more days exploring, return to Bangkok or continue on to the capital Phnom Penh.
This tour is led by Steve Davey - a professional photographer, whose work appears in publications all over the world. He is the author of the bestselling Unforgettable Places To See Before You Die (BBC Books). Steve recently published Footprint Travel Photography (Footprint Books), which covers everything that you would ever want to know about travelling with a camera. Click for more.
Please note: this tour ran successfully in 2011.
At the momement it is not scheduled to run again, but we have a similar tour that ges to Laos & Vietnam. Click here to see more.