The “Death Railway” through Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Image © Tourism Authority of Thailand.
This 8-day 7-night tour transports you through Laos and Thailand's highlights via a multitude of transportation options, boats and railways included!
You'll begin your tour at Mahachai, some 45 km southwest of Bangkok. At the confluence of Klong Mahachai canal and the Ta Chine River, Thailand's most famous seafood market does business as it has for generations. Another market, the Mae Klong Railway Market some distance away, is notable for having an active train track running right through it!
Proceed to the riverside town of Amphawa, where you'll stop by the Benjarong House and Museum (home to skilled chinaware artisans) before embarking on a cruise through the town's scenic waterways to Wat Bang Kung, a 200-year-old temple almost surrounded by the roots of a huge banyan tree.
A stopover at the Damnoen Saduak floating market awaits before you proceed to Kanchanaburi, gateway to World War II memorial sites like the War Cemetery, the Death Railway that passes over the famous Bridge over the River Kwai, and Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum.
From here, you'll take a long drive to the former capital Ayutthaya, where temple ruins like Wat Panangchern, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, Wat Yai Chai Mongkol and Wat Chai Wattanaram contrast with the well-preserved Royal Summer Palace downstream of the Chao Phraya River.
Returning to Bangkok, you'll board a plane to Luang Prabang in Laos, a former royal capital and present-day launching pad to a number of adventures.
Visit the traditional crafts villages of Ban Xang Khong and Ban Phanom. Explore Luang Prabang's most notable landmarks, among them Wat Xieng Thong, the Sri Lankan-style Vat Visoun, and the magnificent Royal Palace turned National Museum. Take a swim at the crystal-clear Kuang Si Waterfall, or explore the Pak Ou Caves. And participate in a Tak Bat, or morning almsgiving to the local monks.
You'll wind up your tour at the capital of Laos, Vientiane, where you'll see Wat Sisaket, Vientiane's oldest-surviving monastery; Pha That Luang, a national symbol of Laos; Patouxai, a Laotian version of the Arc de Triomphe; and finally, Buddha Park, where 200 fantastically-designed concrete statues seem grounded more in fantasy than tradition.
Image © Tourism Authority of Thailand.
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