Wish to visit and experience Southeast Asia regions with a twist? Then, you will be able to soak up to a truly rich mix of destinations without the hassle, thanks to this Cambodia and Laos Itinerary. Regardless of whether you are fond of mystical ancient temples in Cambodia or exciting cultures in Laos, remember that each country has its own charm. However, both share one thing in common: stacks of breathtaking scenery, seriously fabulous food, an age-old history.
Lasting for 14 days and 13 nights, this route is considered the best way to deeply step into both Cambodia and Laos with a kaleidoscopic fusion of landscapes, cultures, and cuisines. From the rich but tragic history of Cambodia to the rugged terrain and amazingly archaeological treasures of Laos, your vision is definitely widened to the highest peak. So, get ready to drop your souls on such spectacular destinations? Follow us right now!
Laos – the first destination to start your 14-day Cambodia and Laos Itinerary
Also known as the Land of a Million Elephants, Laos gets top marks for its unspoiled natural beauty and deep spirituality. Relatively untouched by tourism because of isolation, this laid-back country truly stands out as a gem in Southeast Asia, blessed with a lot of finest features. There are many interesting activities to do when spent time here. While some visitors love experiencing the traditional way of life of the warm and amiable locals in an unhurried pace, others are interested in going hiking through vast forested mountains and pristine river valleys. Don’t miss the following landmarks during your trip to Laos:
1. Luang Prabang (4 days)
Located in a breathtaking valley at the confluence of Mekong and Nam Khan rivers, Luang Prabang is not only the former royal capital of Laos but also a UNESCO World Heritage site. A visit to the town brings you a chance to experience a harmonious blend of rich cultural history and outdoor adventure with its mountains and waterfalls.
Lots of visitors, especially photographers, fall in love with Luang Prabang since around every corner here is a photo opportunity. Taking a promenade around this astoundingly beautiful town, and you recognize that it is festooned with ancient temples, nice shrines, and enigmatic sights. Besides, there are night markets and shops to browse, luxurious restaurants and eateries to choose from, and imposing landscapes and traditional villages to explore nearby.
For adventurers, Luang Prabang is also an ideal place to go trekking and hiking because the town is set in the mountainous area. What’s more? Let’s fulfill your list of must-do activities while in here, such as taking an elephant ride, immersing yourself in the cascading waterfalls, watching the orange-robed monks walking between monasteries, enjoying a traditional Laos massage, or simply having a seat in a street side café to see go-by passengers. Therefore, an arrival to Luang Prabang will definitely make an unforgettable addition to your Cambodia and Laos Itinerary. For a meaningful Luang Prabang trip, it seems a big pity to skip some magnetic highlights, like:
- The stupa of Wat Wisunalat and the shrine of Wat Aham
- The top of Mount Phousi
- The Night Market
- Wat Sene Souk Haram temple and Wat Xieng Thong temple
- The mysterious Pak Ou Caves
- The village of Ban Xanghai and Ban Phanom
- The daily morning alms giving the ceremony
- The Phosi Market
- The beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall
- The National Museum
- The Central Market
2. Vientiane (1 day)
Another must-visit place while in Laos is Vientiane – the country’s modern capital, which is set on the banks of Mekong River. This is where you can enjoy the peaceful ambiance at best since the city remains a slow-paced charm and delightful cultures. Once visiting, you can be amazed by the city’s vintage beauty that is highlighted via its faded French colonial architecture. Whether you choose to take a gentle cycle ride or enjoy a local cyclo tour, it still rewards you with a stunning sight of temples and monuments. After all, don’t forget to check in Pha That Luang – the country’s national symbol. This stands out as a gold-covered Buddhist stupa that warmly glows at sundown.
One of the good reasons why Vientiane should be added to your bucket list is that this is a perfect jumping-off place for extended adventure around this country. For instance, from the capital, you can start a trip to the alluring 4,000 Islands in the Mekong River with the easy itinerary. Do not forget to spend time in the following attractions while in here:
- The oldest temple Wat Si Saket
- The former temple of Wat Ho Phra Keo
- The reputable and sacred structure of Pha That Luang Stupa
- The imposing Patuxai Monument
- The Wat Ong Teu, Wat Inpeng and Wat Hai Sok
3. Pakse (2 days)
Located in Southern Laos on a peninsula between the Mekong and Xe Don, Pakse is simply a small and tranquil city. Its name is understood as mouth of the river. In fact, there is not much to do in the city other than taking a stroll, contemplating a few temples, as well as immersing in the city’s peaceful and quiet vibe. Pakse is actually the starting point for tourists who want to make a short trip to the 4,000 Islands or Bolevan Plateau. However, the city itself is still charming through visiting Wat Phu, enjoying awesome locally grown coffee, watching the sunset over the Mekong, or even exploring many surrounding areas by bike. Top things to see and do in Pakse are as follow:
- The ruins of Wat Phu
- The peaceful Khong Island
- Tad Lo waterfalls
- Bolaven plateau
- The ethnic minority villages of Alak, Nge, and Katu
Cambodia – the last destination to highlight your Cambodia and Laos Itinerary
Cambodia is best known for the complex of Angkor Wat temples in Siem Reap – one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. As the largest religious monument all over the world, the complex leaves you from one admiration to another by its spectacular ruins and incredible history. It is up to you to leisurely get lost in its crumbling and jungle-covered temples or even adventurously clamber up the ancient structures to see the sunrise and sunset over the iconic spires of Angkor.
Besides the grandeur of the ancient temples in Siem Reap, this small country is also filled with other impressive highlights, such as the modern capital city of Phnom Penh, the colonial-era buildings of Battambang, the floating villages of Tonle Sap Lake, and the premier beach town of Sihanoukville with its untouched islands and blue water. So, prepare to be amazed by what Cambodia has to offer. The following are our top suggestions included in the Cambodia and Laos Itinerary:
1. Siem Reap (4 days)
If you visit Cambodia for the purpose of an exciting cultural adventure, then Siem Reap is the best fit. The place is indeed a gateway to one of the most dazzling man-made sights on the planet, called the vast complex of Angkor temples. Collect memorable experiences while in here by watching the dawn over the world’s largest religious masterpiece of Angkor Wat, feeling the stare of countless stone faces at Bayon Temple, or climbing up the jungle ruins of the “Tomb Raider Temple” of Ta Prohm. In the past, Angkor was one of the greatest cities worldwide that was home to the seat of the ancient Khmer Empire. With the blend of Hinduism and Buddhism, the temple complex is the ultimate expression of spiritual devotion and creative vision.
Moreover, why visitors fall in love with the town of Siem Reap is its laid-back and low-rise vibe, with a tranquil vista of colonial architecture, ancient streets, and amiable locals. It is a nice idea to browse the market stalls and upmarket boutiques or try the best of Cambodian cuisine. What should not skip throughout the Siem Reap exploration? Come on!
- The Roluos Group of temples, including Lo Lei, Preah Ko, Bakong
- The south gate of Angkor Thom
- The Bayon Temple
- The Angkor Wat Temple
- The temple of Ta Prohm
- The Preah Dark village
- The preserved temple of Banteay Srei
- The Banteay Samre Temple
2. Phnom Penh (3 days)
Once known as the “Pearl of Asia” for its impressive architecture and fine culture, Phnom Penh is the country’s capital. Today, the city is in the process of regaining its former glory from the dark legacy of the Khmer Rouge regime. So, you still experience the capital’s colonial charm that prominently features a growing confidence and vitality, despite its recent turbulent history.
Lively cafés, luxurious restaurants, and modern hotels line the riverfront while art galleries and boutique shops are scattered along the smaller side streets. Rich in history, Phnom Penh is where you can see a number of cultural attractions and historical landmarks. Must-see attractions include:
- The private quarters of the Royal Palace
- The Silver Pagoda
- The National Museum
- The Royal University of Fine Arts
- The Russian Market (Psar Toul Tom Pong)
- The Tuol Sleng Museum
- The notorious “Killing Fields” of Choeung Ek
Yes, that is our Cambodia and Laos Itinerary for 2 weeks. Don’t hesitate to share with us your thoughts about such itinerary! If you like, inspirationally tailor your own trip, along with our recommendations. So, let’s pick up your suitcases, book a flight ticket, and go!