Photo: JD Keser
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Western Bhutan and Cambodia

A Beautiful Combination: Western Bhutan; Paro, Thimphu, Punakha. Cambodia; Siem Reap, Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Tonle Sap Lake

The famous temples of Angkor are one of the wonders of the ancient world. For over 500 years the mighty Khmer kings built a succession of cities known as Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat. They have been called one of the world's greatest architectural achievements. No books or photos can prepare you for these astonishing ruins. Angkor Thom's sweeping stone terraces, gateways, 54 massive stone Buddha faces, and exquisitely carved bas-reliefs testify to the Khmer's masterful architectural prowess. Angkor Wat, the supreme masterpiece of Khmer art, is the largest religious complex ever built by man. It's impressive in size and built with foundation stones of volcanic laterite. Erected in the 12th century, it is surrounded by a moat, each side of which is nearly one mile in length. The inner and outer courtyards are vast enough to hold thousands of people. The pyramidal temples soar to over 200 feet and can be seen from miles around. Walking slowly through this vast complex, you'll appreciate many carved galleries, stairways, and shrines. You will spend time at the Gallery of Bas-Reliefs to view the stunning, perfectly preserved panel called Churning of the Ocean of Milk.

 

Cambodia

Visit the Rolous temples, the oldest Khmer temples at Angkor built at the beginning of the classical period of Khmer art from the sixth to the ninth centuries. The Rolous temples pre-date the great temples of Angkor by 300 years and are worthy of a visit. We take you further afield to a classic temple that was closed for years when Cambodia was under the Khmer Rouge.


End your three-night visit of Siem Reap with a cruise of Tonle Sap Lake to see the life of the fishing communities. About 5,000 years ago, Cambodia was completely under water. The silting up of this mighty river formed Cambodia's landmass, and the Tonle Sap Lake changed from salt to fresh water.

 

Climate

During the monsoon season of June through September, the Mekong River overflows, causing the Tonle Sap River to reverse, flooding the great lake and plains. The Tonle Sap Lake encompasses a variety of interconnected streams, rivers, and wetland vegetation, which support a great number of wildlife, fish, mammal, and reptile species. Unique to the lake are the many floating fishing communities that have been practicing traditional fishing for centuries and a local floating hospital, which we visit on our half-day lake excursion.

 

Bhutan

Our seven-night program in Bhutan covers the classic West including Paro, Thimphu, and Punakha. Our Paro program features all the highlights, such as the Paro Dzong (fortress monastery), the National Museum, and Tiger's Nest, the most sacred site in the country. Enjoy two nights in the cultural capital of Thimphu with all the attractions the city is known for, like the Textile Museum, the School of Traditional Art, and Memorial Chorten, to name a few. The capital still doesn't have a traffic light, and at times it can be congested. For this reason we've selected a five-star hotel nestled in a rice field just outside the capital. Spend two nights in Punakha visiting the most elaborate dzong in the country––if you only visit one, see this fortress monastery. Every inch from the floors to the lintels to the ceilings is intricately carved and exquisitely painted.


The Bhutan trip is escorted by one of our renowned senior guides (as mentioned in Trip Advisor's Far Fung Places Bhutan entry). Trip Advisor® Far Fung Places Bhutan site. Our senior guides, knowledgeable on all aspects of the culture and flora and fauna. As the religious traditions are so pervasive, we've included a talk on Mahayana Buddhism. This trip is designed for maximum cultural exposure, such as a festival with a variety of experiences and some easy walks and hikes. Please inquire about our day-to-day itinerary for more details.

 

Custom Land/Air Cost

Land price approximate: $5600 per person, double occupancy, based on two people. Single supplement: $1799


Excludes: regional and international fares: $885 Druk Air; $475 Bangkok Airways; USA/Bangkok airfare, approximately $1400. Fares are final at ticketing.


Includes seven nights in Bhutan, one night in Bangkok, three nights in Cambodia.


In Bhutan the program includes deluxe hotels, full board (all meals) including breakfast and dinner at the hotels, (lunches outside in local restaurants), tips to the hotel porters, tips for the local meals, and tips to the hotel restaurants; includes traveling with Karchung as country expert, driver and private vehicle, entrance fees, royalties to the government, visas and processing, sightseeing, and transfers.


In Bangkok it includes Nov Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel on bed and breakfast basis.


In Cambodia it includes deluxe hotel like Shinta Mani Club or similar, breakfast and local lunch on sightseeing, sightseeing as noted above, English speaking local guide, private monk blessing, entrance fees to the major monuments at Angkor Wat and Thom complex, and a bottle of water and cold towels during the sightseeing.


Extras not included: regional flights, personal charges, tips to the hotels, the restaurants, meals other than what is mentioned as included, airport taxes, visas, camera/video fees, and any service outside of what is outlined on this itinerary including early or late check out, or gratuities to the guide and driver.


The trip is offered on a space available basis with a Sunday departure from Bangkok to Paro, Bhutan ending 11 nights later on Thursday with the flight from Cambodia back to Bangkok.

 

 

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