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Reisbegeleiding 9,0
Vervoer 10,0
Overnachtingen 10,0
Reisroute 8,4
8.3 72 beoordelingen
  • 10

    Amazing trip of a lifetime - visit Laos now!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this trip - it was better than my expectations, which were very high! Thailand is only visited very briefly, but I felt like we saw the best of Laos, a beautiful country with mainly unspoiled countryside. The countryside seen from the slow boat along the Mekong and the karst scenery at Vang Vieng is some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere! Cambodia is also incredible, a country emerging from its tragic recent past but with so much to see. The temples at Angkor definitely deserve their status as 8th wonder of the world! These are countries to visit now before tourism changes them drastically in the future. I'd imagine that Laos in another 10 years time will be completely changed….

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several moments, including: Our 2 day slow boat adventure along the Mekong, gorgeous scenery everywhere and incredible food served to us by the captain's wife Coming across a monastery in Pakbeng and hearing the monks' chanting - a real spine tingling moment! Luang Prabang - Such a pretty city with all the temples and monks wandering around Kwang Si Falls - Beautiful scenery and a lot of fun swimming in the waters, just be careful as it is slippery underfoot! Ta Prohm temple - Seeing this temple rising out from the jungle was just magical! The Bayon temple - Exploring this temple was magical with all the carved faces Angkor Wat at sunrise - Our guide Chan Ly knew exactly the time that we should arrive to ensure we could get a place to stand at the lake edge. This enabled an uninterrupted view of the temple at sunrise Visiting the stilted villages on Tonle Sap Lake

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had 1 group leader through Thailand and Laos and another in Cambodia. We also had 2 local guides in Laos and 1 in Phnom Penh. Our trip leader in Thailand and Laos was Kritsanaporn Suansaen (Ant). She was absolutely amazing, so friendly and helpful and incredibly well organised. We all felt very well looked after by her. Any questions we had would be answered by her. She made sure we got everywhere on time, helped us with ordering food and helped us organise the tip kitty. At the end of our time in Laos, she even showed us a statement where she had written down all the amounts we had given out so that we knew who the money had gone to! Our 2 local guides in Laos, from Chiang Khong to Luang Prabang we had Mr Tui and from Vang Vieng to Vientiane we had Mr Ki. Mr Tui has incredible knowledge of the local area and further afield and is so kind and caring. He is excellent at his job, his passion and enthusiasm shine through. Mr Ki had some interesting things to say but seemed like he had been doing the job for too long and had almost lost interest. It just seemed that once he'd shown us round the sights that was the end of his role, he didn't come out with us for any meals or anything which was very unlike all of our other guides. Our trip leader in Cambodia was Chan Ly, who was friendly and well organised. We also had Smie (like Smile) in Phnom Penh for detailed information on the Killing Fields, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Royal Palace. We also had Boom who picked us up from Bangkok airport at the very end of the trip to take us back to the hotel in the city for our final night.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read up as much as you can about the histories of Laos and Cambodia, that will give you some background information. Also, I would recommend taking a diary or a notepad to write down all the many places that you will go to on this tour. I did and it was invaluable, I'd never remember them all without it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip is amazing, go now before Laos particularly changes!

  • 8

    thailand,Laos, Cambodia

    this was a very satisfactory expirience

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Boat on the Mekong, Angkor Wat

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had several .Thailand and Laos were excellent, Cambodia not too bad.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    be ready for the heat

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Better air conditioned coaches in Laos,and better suspension.needed on the dirt road highway !

  • 8

    AOC- Discover Thailand Laos Cambodia

    This was a great trip that packed a lot into a relatively short time. A great taster trip for the three countries covered especially for anyone who hasn't been to South-East Asia before.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were really several special moments - I loved Luang Prabang generally and really enjoyed the trip out to the waterfalls - that was a really enchanting place. I loved the views along the trip to Vang Vieng, especially at our lunch stop, loved our river journey and the overnight stop at scruffy little PakBeng. The view from our hotel at Vang Vieng, the sunset and sunrise over the Mekong from our hotel terrace in Phnom Pehn and, most of all, all of Angkor Wat.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had one leader (Aom) who was an Angel and who organised us all so well I'm not quite sure I will be able to function without her now I'm home! We had a local guide to support her in Laos (Tui) who was great, enthusiastic and knowledgeable (sadly though, although his English was good, his pronounciation wasn't and most of us missed a lot of what he had to impart) and lastly, Borey in Cambodia as both leader and guide. He was very interesting with a lot of background information to give us on Cambodia generally which I think inspired a lot of us to want to find out more. The wounds are still very raw in Cambodia and this was evident from talking to Borey and from listening to the other specialist guide who showed us around the killing fields, the prison and the palace. I think it was very valuable to have someone with his knowledge and passion showing us around.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's an easy trip although there is a lot of travelling which can be quite tiring so be warned, a reasonable level of health and fitness will make it more enjoyable. Northern Laos can be quite cold at this time of year (December) and since hotels and restaurants aren't heated, remember to bring some properly warm clothes ( a single light fleece for the evenings wont be enough!). In particular the river trip was seriously cold - we were all wrapped up in just about everything we had, plus blankets, and were still freezing!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My only criticism of the trip is that sometimes we felt as if we were being hurried along on to the next thing a bit. Inevitable really when cramming in so much to see at the height of the season - however, a bit more free time to explore things at a bit more leisure would have been nice (free afternoons for example tended to mean free from about 3.00 p.m. so not really long enough to do anything special), plus at sights, the need to keep track of the group and get through the crowds meant you had to keep moving rather than standing back and taking things in.

  • 10

    Wonderful holiday in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia

    This was a fantastic holiday - my first with Exodus. The itinerary had been thoroughly thought through. There was the right amount of time at each location, the standard of accommodation exceeded my expectations and I would recommend this holiday to all who are flexible, adventurous and understand that these countries are not as sophisticated as UK but that's all part of the expierence. I will certainly be having holidays with Exodus in the future.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I was inspired by sunrise over Angkor Wat; I loved sitting with the local people presenting sticky rice balls to feed the monks as they walked through Laung Prabang in the early morning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nathan was brilliant. He is charismatic, caring and was always looking after the well-being of our group. A great sense of humour used sensitively; he would always go the extra mile. Kit in Laos was also excellent. In Cambodia, the leader, Bun, was ok but as he has been doing the job for a long time, we felt like just another group but that's not surprising. He was always going to be in Nathan's shadow.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Realise these countries are developing; they have bumpy roads and in the towns close to the jungle the facilities will not be as good - if they were it would mean tourism had really taken a hold. Ensure you dont mind moving around from place to place. Whilst this is not a walking holiday there is a need to climb steep stairs and jump into boats so be aware of that.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An unforgetable experience.

  • 10

    Discover Thailand, Laos & Cambodia

    Brill holiday. Well organised by tour guide nok and other guides too gd couch trip very comfortable hotels

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Angkor brill Laos beautiful overall trip was very gd

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very gd excellent group leader

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Excellent trip not a holiday lots to see in very comfortable way travelling . Very enjoyable

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 8

    Discover thailand, Laos , Cambodia march 2014

    a very good taster of all three countries .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    spending a day with the elephants at luang prabang , a nice break from the temples . It was an optional extra for under 90 dollars . lovely sanctuary and and the elephants are well looked after . watching the sun go down over the mountains at vang vieng whilst drinking beer in hammocks was also a highlight !!! the river cruise was very chilled out and the scenery was impressive

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had boom in thailand , sun kit in Laos and the charming Tee in Cambodia . All of the guides had great personalities . We also had extra guides for the killing fields who gave a personal account of growing up under the khmer rouge . All three leaders were helpful and i liked their little touches , from organising fresh fruit on the long drives to ordering me tarantulas in a restaurant . I am glad exodus have used local leaders rather than Dave from dagenham !!! transfers were well organised, transport was a lot more comfortable than i expected

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    elephant sanctuary is a must . Also the centre for the victims of the bombs in Vientiane , Laos . I found this a lot more interesting than the temples in the city . Pak Beng was also lovely . Angor Wat is breath taking . Everything is well organised and worked out very well so just go with it .

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    order the fish amok !! I felt all the countries were safe to wonder about with your wallet in your back pocket and your camera around your neck !!!! The people were charming too

  • 10

    DISCOVER THAILAND, LAOS & CAMBODIA

    An excellent, interesting and very varied trip, which included the bustling madness of Bangkok, the relaxing slow boat along the Mekong Delta, the charming calm of Luang Prabang, the wonderful mountainous scenery in Vang Vieng the "backpackers party town",  the vibrant exciting Phnoh Penh with its very moving history and of course one of the main wonders of the world  Angkor Wat.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many, including the relaxing slow boat along the Mekong River (private boat for just the Exodus group, so plenty of space to move around and stretch) fantastic lunch cooked each day by the Captain's wife,   the local village and school on the banks of the Mekong,  visit to see the Black Bears and waterfalls just outside of Luang Prabang, also the elephant ride whilst staying in Luang Prabang was great fun,   the vibrant local market right next door to the hotel in Phnoh Penh, the very moving visits to The Killing Fields and the Genocide Museum, the temples at Angkor, and on the last day, don't miss the visit to Tonle Sap river with the houses perched on stilts. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Joe in Thailand and Laos and Chan Ly in Cambodia were excellent.    They were both knowledgable, well organized, friendly and helpful  and we were all very well looked after throughout the 17 days.  

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The weather was quite chilly in January in Northern Thailand and Laos in  so I would definately recommend a fleece or jacket for early mornings and evenings.   For currency Thai Baht, Laus Kip and US dollars taken everywhere in Cambodia, there are plenty  of ATM's and money changing places available everywhere, I did not have any difficulty changing sterling.   The hotels were of good standard everywhere apart from the Phetsokxai hotel in Pak Beng, which was more basic backpacker style, but an interesting experience.  The food was good, cheap and plentiful everywhere.   The two  long days by bus are very scenic with plenty of stops along the way, we had a mini bus for our group of 8 which gave us plenty of space, and the day passed by very quickly.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Jim Thompson's house in Bangkok is worth a visit and I also enjoyed our walk through the flower market and Chinatown led by our guide GiGi on our final day in Bangkok. This was a fantastic interesting 17 days, if you are thinking of doing this trip, I would say just go ahead and book it, you will not regret it. 

  • 6

    DISCOVER THAILAND, LAOS & CAMBODIA

    This is my 4th holiday with Exodus, and was a little disappointing compared to the previous.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The 2-day trip down the Mekong, Vientiane, and the optional trip to Tonle Sap lake from Siem Reap. Laos overall was an eye-opener, and really enjoyable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    This is where my main disappointment was: there was no ONE leader throughout. Jo in Thailand was great, and he also came to Laos with us, but we were accompanied by another local guide in Laos who was really not much use at all.  It was quite strained with them defering to each other and made for a few awkward times. Then both of them left and we had yet another in Cambodia who was just OK: efficient in logistics but rather impersonal and not good people skills and didn't really gel with the guests. Then he left us and when we got back to Bangkok we were very much on our own, with just a rep. So essentially the trip felt like it ended before we left Siem Reap. I would highly recommend having ONE leader throughout because the way it is structured now lends to a very disjointed trip, and unavoidable comparisons from one leader to the next: unfavourable in this case. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I found the weather really great in January - no warm clothes necessary. There are laundromats available in a number of places (Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Siem Reap) that are very cheap. For other times, bring easy-to-wash/dry stuff and do it yourself. Easily dries overnight. Travel light. No need for fancy clothes. I had an overhead locker size case and managed just fine (and was the envy of the group who struggled up stairs with heavy cases!) A torch/flashlight is useful for walking back at night/caves etc Hotels on the whole were good, with aircon if its hot. No really long days traveling; and stops are frequent. Loos are way better than I had imagined, though you do have to pay for some. But paper not always on hand. Food is excellent - wide variety, and very reasonable. All hotels provided plenty of bottled water so that saves quite a bit. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I think a couple of things would greatly enhance this holiday, in addition to my comment above re having one tour leader. 1) make the trip a little longer and include Phonsavan to see the Plain of Jars. 2) do the included sight-seeing in Vang Vieng in the afternoon of the day we arrive (got there about lunchtime), stay one night then move on the next day to Vientianne and have 2 nights there: it is a beautiful city. 3) make the visit to Tonle Sap Lake stilt houses part of the itinerary: it was a highlight for us all 4) include an overnight in Batembang in Cambodia  5) where hotels have a very scenic setting eg Chiang Kong, Pakbeng and Vang Vieng, at least arrange river view rooms for us! Mine overlooked the carpark in 2 places, and was in the basement in the other. 6) don't leave Siem Reap at the crack of dawn on day 16! There are 5 flights a day out of SR to Bangkok so why not leave on the late evening flight? There is much more to see and do there, and it is a much nicer town. We all arrived back in BK mid-morning and felt very much like the trip was over and no one really wanted to do anything, or have a final group meal etc. Disappointing. If it can't be changed, why not have some included sight-seeing arranged for the final afternoon in BK and include a final dinner? At least the holiday would end on a high note. I realise that some of these would add to the cost of the holiday, but all said and done, I don't think the additional days/cost would put potential travelers off: if you're spending this amount of money, a little more for much better itinerary and rooms would be money well spent.  

  • 4

    A great experience but take warm clothes if travelling in winter months!

    This trip offers a fantastic introduction to Laos and Cambodia, but only spends a short time in Thailand. It is fast paced so not for those preferring a more leisurely experience!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My preferred halts were Luang Prebang - so beautiful and with a fabulous night market - and also Phnom Penn, which offered a very different big city experience and very good guiding of the Killing Fields and Genocide museum...chilling to hear the story of the scale of the genocide.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had a total of 4 guides, which really were too many and made for a somewhat disjointed guiding experience. By far the best was Nat, who was so committed, caring and knowledgable. Tui (Laos) was very hard to understand since his pronunciation was poor and Wanta (Cambodia) was only satisfactory. Sami (Phnom Penn only) was outstanding in his guiding of the Killing Fields.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is absolutely vital that you take warm clothes if you are doing this trip in December and/or January since the temperature plummets to barely above zero in N Thailand and on the Mekong. The trip notes do not advise you to take warm clothes (thermals even!) for wearing during this leg of the trip, which is a serious omission! We as a group only had summer weight clothes for being on the boat (2 days x 8hours in January!!) and, in spite of there being thin blankets available on the boat to cover us with, we froze to death! The hotel in Pak Beng is also very cold (the halfway stop on the Mekong river trip) and I recommend you borrow blankets from the boat to keep you warm at night.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The long road trip from Phnom Penn to Sim Reap (8hours) is also very uncomfortable due to the pot-holes in the uneven and stony road. Exodus should consider either upgrading the minibus used for the journey (ours had very poor suspension) or letting the group undertake this journey by air.

  • 8

    DISCOVER THAILAND, LAOS & CAMBODIA

    In retrospect, the trip was a sublime and thought provoking leaning experience . While it was unfolding it was invigorating, pleasurable and full of wonderment.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Meeting the local guide in Phnom Penh who had actually lived through the civil war and could relate his personal experiences of surviving the horror of it's history.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    All three - in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia were personable, knowledgable and could relate personal impressions and opinions. In Cambodia the guides were particularly outspoken and able to offer informed opinions of the current regimes.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    In Angkor Wat go to the National museum first for an informed perspective of Khmer history. In Phnom Penh take a stiff drink before encountering the traffic in the street. In all three places take a tuk tuk despite what the guide tells you. They are worth it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go for three times as long as the tour allows. On second thoughts, make that four times and spend it mostly in Laos. Make sure you go to the ethnographic museum in Luang Prabang and then seek out the textiles in the hill tribes. Wonderfullllll.

  • 10

    DISCOVER THAILAND, LAOS & CAMBODIA

    I really enjoyed this trip. I had always wanted to see Angkor, but Laos wasn't somewhere I had thought much about before, but it is a very beautiful country with very friendly people and seeing it from a boat on the Mekong must be one of the best ways of doing it. The trip includes quite a bit of free time either for going on other excursions, or taking it easy, which means different people can take the trip at their own pace - most of us kept very busy. I saw other comments suggesting that you can get templed out - towards the end I think I proabably did, but there is so much else included, that this wasn't a problem as we just did something else.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely seeing the temples of Angkor, which were amazing. Our guide arranged our visits to co-incide with the quite times, which worked really well, as we avoided the worst of the crowds. Angkor Wat is amazing, but most of us had other temples which we actually preferred - in my case, the Bayon. The trip down the Mekong was wonderfully relaxing, with beautiful scenery. The genocide museums and Killing fields  are more sobering, but are must see places. These are the main things, I think, but we certainly packed a lot of other things in too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had Nai in Thailand, who we all loved and I was very sorry when we left him at Siem Reap airport. He stayed with us through Laos too, where we were joined with a young local lad called Kit, who was quite quiet and I think we struggled a bit with his level of English - especially when he got started on a long story on the bus rides about how such and such got its name. But he was very helpful and friendly. We had Channa in Cambodia who was excellent. Although only a wee girl, she led us around very efficiently with the authority of a school mistress. One of the more senior members of the group had a fall and needed hospital treatment - she was EXCELLENT in taking care of him and making sure he was looked after - they really appreciated her efforts. Overall, excellent group leaders throughout.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The hotels are all very good and all were air conditioned, so there is no worries there. The food was good and caused us no concerns, although a couple of people did have dicky stomachs for a couple of days, proabably due to the amount of spicy food we ate. Everything is very cheap in Cambodia and Laos, but I did spend more than I thought i would - mainly on souvenirs. The markets in Luang Prabang seemed the best, but there was pleny available in Phnomn Penh too I recall. Otherwise, i wasn't really surprised by anything. We did the village on stilts in Cambodia on the final day and everyone who went LOVED it, it was a real treat that we weren't expecting. Also, if you like a walk, there are a couple of treks you can do through the paddy fields and villages which were easily arranged in Luang prabang and Vang Vieng, which I really enjoyed. The hotel in Bangkok is quite a way from the downtown area, so be prepared to pay for a cab if you want to check out the seedier sides of Bangkok - getting back is easy enough as there are LOTS of taxis around there - it's a very interesting place to visit, however. Breakfasts were a bit odd, as although they always put on a nice spread, when you looked at what was avaiable, it tended to be fried veg, rice, curry and all the other stuff you have for lunch and dinner - so don't expect plates of bacon and eggs (although some places had some if you were quick as it didn't stay there long). We found Phnomn Penh quite safe to walk around - it didn't feel intimidating at all, although there is the risk of bag snatching apparently, as long as you're sensible, we all felt quite safe there, so don't go feeling a sense of trepidation about it, as it wasn't our experience at all. The driving days were also fine - there is a lot to look at out the windows and the frequent stops make it very tolerable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I really enjoyed the trip, and Angkor is certainly worth going on this trip. Laos was an unexpected treat, although a little touristy in Lang Prabang if I'm honest. Cambodia is a very interesting country, still with a lot of problems. There are temples all over the place, lots of markets, good hotels and restaurants, and a trip that to a certain extent you can pace a bit yourrself, i.e. by not charging off to extra stuff on the free time afternoons if you so wish. Otherwise, if that's your thing, like me, you can keep very very busy and pack a lot into the trip. This was my first time in SE Asia, but I'm already thinking about going to Vietnam and Burma as it's a fascninating part of the world. Otherwise, yes, another excellent Exodus trip ..

  • 8

    DISCOVER THAILAND, LAOS & CAMBODIA

    We much enjoyed this holiday. It made an excellent introduction to SE Asia which we had not previously visited. The group of 8 travellers was a perfect size, not too much waiting around, and much conviviality. Happy Hour in Cambodia was discovered as a great opportunity to enjoy high class cocktails. Good value overall, I thought, as almost all trips were included and those that were not were very reasonably priced.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Slow boat down the Mekong in Laos. Bathing in waterfalls at Vang Vieng, and visiting a Buddha in a cave 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had several, all were excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for quite a hectic holiday. The spells of 3 days in some places were a welcome opportunity to stay put. The toilets are remarkably clean, no worries there

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Personally I'd have preferred less time in Bangkok at the end of the holiday. It felt like marking time till the flight home. 24 hours less, and 24 hours more in Siem Riep would have been perfect

  • 2

    Thailand, Laos and Cambodia

    We have travelled with exodus over the last twelve years. We were attracted to the cultural and discovery aspects of the tours. Unfortunately this holiday fell short of our expectations, being a very sanitized trip with little interaction with local people, mainly focusing on smart hotels and upper range restaurants. We were also extremely disappointed that a significant price reduction for late bookings left us spending significantly more than most of the group. We were certainly penalized for being early bookers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Angkor wot was amazing, it was a shame that we were not given more time to investigate by ourselves.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ok, but far too focussed on ensuring all our meals were taken in top restaurants, rather than experiencing local fare.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a good holiday for travellers who want to see the tourist sites of the countries, and are not too bothered about a true cultural experience.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 8

    DISCOVER THAILAND, LAOS & CAMBODIA

    The trip followed a familiar Exodus formula. We travelled through a variety of landscapes,visited palaces,simple villages,traditional and colonial towns and cities,temples and ruins. We learnt how historical and recent events in Laos and Cambodia have shaped the countries and their peoples,left their mark and influenced their philosophy on life. A varied and interesting trip especially in Laos as most of us knew little about this lovely and gentle country. Not a trip though with a "wow" factor.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A thought provoking visit to the charity "COPE"  while in Laos, which was optional, to be told how it works to provide injured people with prosthetics and how teams of young people are trained to locate and clear  unexploded cluster bombs. Not a depressing experience but a reminder that this work is ongoing and funded by donations. Seeing groups of young people clearly enjoying going to school and trying to make the most of their education. Something that not all children in these countries have access to. A very positive and uplifting atmosphere in the places we visited as people try to get on and better their lives. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nok, our main guide in Thailand and Laos,was a very warm,thoughtful,organised, humorous and wise woman.I remember a little conversation with her about the difficulties of looking after adults on group trips.Not easy when everyone has their own agenda! The additional guide in Laos, while a pleasant enough person, was fairly inexperienced and had poor English.In Cambodia we were looked after by Komphak,new to Exodus, but again a thoughtful guide with his own family experiences during Pol Pots regime. Very quick to smile and laugh.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You know it's going to be hot, but the heat really saps your energy and affects your mood.Drink lots of water but don't forget to replenish lost salts and sugars to keep energy levels up. Loose clothing is a must. Heavy drinking of alcohol and heat isn't the best combination.  Read the trip notes as it was obvious some people on my trip hadn't. Any questions asked about the itinerary,modes of transport,airport transfers and most importantly, the reasons for the group kitty to tip staff at hotels,drivers, local guides etc were all covered and explained. Mosquitoes weren't a major risk in March as it wasn't the rainy season, but some people will always get bitten so need to take more protection than others. Take what works for you but I believe the majority of us were on anti-malarials though not all on DEET. American dollars were the most practical currency to take.  An average evening meal with a drink and tip usually worked out to $10. Quality of food in simple cafes to stylish restaurants was mainly very good.  Take ear-plugs to cut out the noise of bed-room air-conditioning. The quality of hotels was better than expected by me. SE Asians are a very polite people.Things may not happen as they do in the West nor as quickly. Leave pre-conceptions behind. Go with the flow.    

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A busy trip most days,relaxing on others when watching the world go by sailing down the Mekong River and looking at passing scenery on 3 days driving on fairly good roads in comfortable modern mini-buses. Plenty of  stops.  On any of these trips,if travelling with friends or as a couple and you can't be separated or be inclusive, then don't come on a small group trip as this influences the dynamics and affects those who have come independently. 

  • 10

    DISCOVER THAILAND, LAOS & CAMBODIA

    Excellent value busy trip.  If you are used to "activity" holidays you might find it too relaxing.  If you are used to luxury holidays still give it a try as 3 star hotels in Thailand/Cambodia & Laos are in keeping with the countries and with the exception of just one night in a poor guest house (Phetsokxai at Pak Bang) all the accommodation had good showers, firm beds and functioning air conditioning.We were taken to a wide variety of restaurants all of which were able to provide authentic food for those who like to try local dishes and european dishes for those who do not.The two long coach trips pass quickly as there are stops every couple of hours plenty to see and the two days on the Mekong are on a private slow boat so you and your companions have plenty of space to stretch.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Best views:  Angkor Wat sunrise Best activity: Optional visit to Elephant Village from Lunang Prabang Charities:COPE providing prosethetic limbs - the guide will refer to this as "The bomb harvesting" museum - there is more to it than that and you can support the charity by purchases or donations etc, very interesting Marum restaurant in Siem Reap which trains and employs former street kids - a Cambodian version of Jamie Oliver's "15"

    What did you think of your group leader?

    NOK in Thailand and Laos was excellent.  Humorous, knowledgeable, surperbly oganised and thoroughly enjoying her job.  She tuned in to under-currents in the group and gave inspirational low key speeches aimed at anyone not chilled out.   Kimphak in Cambodia was brand new to Exodus and now has been educated about the "tipping kitty" which avoids the need to make daily judgements on fair amounts to tip all and sundry.  He was very educated and amiable.   Sam who only had us for one night in Bangkok was able to round us up and make sure we left his native soil safely!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are prone to a lot of insect bites try Incognito available from Holland & Barratt - I used this throughout the trip and was not biten at all whereas some people covered in DEET stil got bitten. Freeze bottled water as apart from the long day at Angkor it will stay frozen most of the following day LADIES;  Consider wearing a loose short sleeved dress as this avoids the heat of having a waistband and layer over the top.  You will be allowed in all Royal Palaces and temples as long as you have little sleeves & covered knees.  Take a shawl or wrap which can be used to cover arms in one of the cave temples on the Mekong.  Also one lady soaked it in water and wore as a veil when she was suffering from the heat and also wore it to ward off insects at night MNEN:  If very tall bes careful at Villar Rakhangthong hoel in Luang Prabang as one chap cut his head badly on a low beam over the stairs.  ALl men:  Take shorts that cover the knees as these are acceptable in many temples/palaces - you will need long trousers in Bangkok for the Royal Palace. Take a lot more money than the tripnotes suggest - we had a small one course lunch with a drink and one course dinner with two alcoholic drinks each day at a cost of around £20 pp per day.  I used a debit card successfuly in Laos.  In Cambodia the machinrs sometimes give you $100 bills so you will need to change these down. You will only need a warm top on the early morning start on the 2nd day of the slow boat along the Mekong - it's never cool at night or in air conditioning so save room inyour lugguage. If you are not willing to compromiose don't share a room - some members of the party were constantly complaining about their room mates which spoiled the atmosphere at times.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As Nok our guide told everyone: You have worked hard to pay for this holiday so you must enjoy yourself!  Aimed at some fussy or inexperienced travellers expecting western standards etc I suspect Think like a Budhist: Smile serenely, stay calm count your blessings andyou will feel contented and not too over-heated!

  • 6

    DISCOVER THAILAND, LAOS & CAMBODIA

    The trip is really about Laos and Cambodia, with Thailand being more of a staging-post.  Laos is scenic, rural and sparsely populated, while Cambodia is busier and historically more interesting.  The pace of the trip is generally leisurely, especially in Laos.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Two in Cambodia.  Firstly, the torture chambers and killing fields of the Pol Pot regime.  We had an excellent local guide who had himself suffered as a child under the Khmer Rouge.  He also gave an interesting account of Cambodia since the Vietnamese invasion and the fall of Pol Pot. Secondly, the temples at Angkor. The temples come in a variety of styles and I felt that some of the smaller temples were even more attractive than the grand Angkor Wat.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The Thai and Cambodian leaders were competent and friendly.  The Thai leader was supplemented in Laos by a local guide who was rather less competent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read up about Laos and take a guide book as you will learn very little about the history and present set-up of Laos on this trip.  There was not even a guided tour of the historic town of Luang Prabang.  The local Lao guide was uninformative, though he was possibly wary of the repressive Communist regime.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotels were generally good and nearly all had free Wi-Fi.  Food was plentiful and cheap, and I had no problems as a vegetarian - I declined the offer of fried tarantulas.

  • 6

    DISCOVER THAILAND, LAOS & CAMBODIA

    I went to Burma with you last year, and it was a full-on trip.  We were up from dawn to dusk, so it was tiring, but we all felt we had seen as much as possible in a fortnight.  I expected the same from Laos and Cambodia, but it was much more relaxed with later starts, and I felt that I had not done the two countries justice - we could have fitted in more, particularly in Siem Reap.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Luang Prabang at dawn, watching the monks receiving alms,  the Genocide Museum and Killing Fields in Phnom Penh (depressing but a must) and the magnificent Temples at Siem Reap (shame about the crowds - we should have started earlier!)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both team leaders were good, friendly and well organised.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Busy trip, go to Burma Relaxed trip, go to Laos & Cambodia

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 10

    DISCOVER THAILAND, LAOS & CAMBODIA

    An excellent way to see a lot of Laos and Cambodia in a relatively short time. There is quite a lot of travelling involved but that is inevitable in covering so much ground and is never boring

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The 2 day trip on a slow boat on the upper Mekong; the charming city of Luang Prabang; and, of course, Angkor Wat.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both the Thai/ Lao and Cambodian leaders were very good: knowledgable, helpful, willing within reason to accomodate preferences and with a good sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for 2-3 days of long road journeys on not very good roads. The hotels were of variable quality but given the overall cost of the holiday I was pleasantly surprised by the qualtiy.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A great trip. I am glad I did it!

  • 10

    DISCOVER THAILAND, LAOS & CAMBODIA

    An excellent, interesting and very varied trip, which included the bustling madness of Bangkok, the relaxing slow boat along the Mekong Delta, the charming calm of Luang Prabang, the wonderful mountainous scenery in Vang Vieng the "backpackers party town", the vibrant exciting Phnoh Penh with its very moving history and of course one of the main wonders of the world Angkor Wat.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many, including the relaxing slow boat along the Mekong River (private boat for just the Exodus group, so plenty of space to move around and stretch) fantastic lunch cooked each day by the Captain's wife, the local village and school on the banks of the Mekong, visit to see the Black Bears and waterfalls just outside of Luang Prabang, also the elephant ride whilst staying in Luang Prabang was great fun, the vibrant local market right next door to the hotel in Phnoh Penh, the very moving visits to The Killing Fields and the Genocide Museum, the temples at Angkor, and on the last day, don't miss the visit to Tonle Sap river with the houses perched on stilts.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Joe in Thailand and Laos and Chan Ly in Cambodia were excellent. They were both knowledgable, well organized, friendly and helpful and we were all very well looked after throughout the 17 days.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The weather was quite chilly in January in Northern Thailand and Laos in so I would definately recommend a fleece or jacket for early mornings and evenings. For currency Thai Baht, Laus Kip and US dollars taken everywhere in Cambodia, there are plenty of ATM's and money changing places available everywhere, I did not have any difficulty changing sterling. The hotels were of good standard everywhere apart from the Phetsokxai hotel in Pak Beng, which was more basic backpacker style, but an interesting experience. The food was good, cheap and plentiful everywhere. The two long days by bus are very scenic with plenty of stops along the way, we had a mini bus for our group of 8 which gave us plenty of space, and the day passed by very quickly.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Jim Thompson's house in Bangkok is worth a visit and I also enjoyed our walk through the flower market and Chinatown led by our guide GiGi on our final day in Bangkok. This was a fantastic interesting 17 days, if you are thinking of doing this trip, I would say just go ahead and book it, you will not regret it.

  • 8

    DISCOVER THAILAND, LAOS & CAMBODIA

    A varied trip through 3 amazing countries. I did not read trip details properly and wrongly thought there would be walking involved, especially as it is described as 'moderate'. In fact it is an easy trip. I loved Thailand and in fact stayed for a few days extra at the end on my own to visit the beaches, you can fly from Bangkok to Koh Samui very easily.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loved it all really, the lazy trip along the Mekong, the bustle and food in Bangkok, and of course the sobering visit to Cambodia where one realises again and again that we have never had it so good. Our guide for the Killing fields and the prison was inspirational.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had three different leaders, two at the same time for the visit to Laos, which was not necessary. Our leader in Cambodia was excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A lot of travelling so be prepared to relax, read and sit around, not a trip for those who want lots of exercise, although there are some opportunities to swim and kayak. Also need clothes for lots of temples, with sleeves and cover the knees.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Excellent food is very cheap. Hotels are generally of a good standard, only one was below par but that was in an undeveloped area of Laos and was only for one night.

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