Depart from the U.S. Travel over the International Date Line. International airfare is not included. Overnight in Singapore. Flights traveling westbound will depart on Saturday and arrive late Sunday night. Flights traveling eastbound via Europe will depart late Friday and arrive Sunday morning
Daytime travelers: check into hotel. Tour of Old Chinatown, visit to the new Marina Bay Sands hotel for refreshments and a fantastic bird’s eye view of the port and city of Singapore. Optional dinner in historic Kampong Glam, the Malay heritage area of the city. (overnight in Singapore)
Morning flight to Luang Prabang via Bangkok. Afternoon rental of quiet and emission-free electric bikes (or drive) to explore the beautiful Buddhist temples, the architecture and local sights of the UNESCO Heritage town of Luang Prabang. Visit the Traditional Arts and Ethnicity Centre. Free evening to tour of the main street exotic night hill tribe market where handmade textiles, jewelry and other beautiful crafts of the area are available
Rise at dawn to participate in alms giving to the procession of the monks gathering alms (morning meal) through the streets of the town. Visit to the exotic morning street food market. Back to the hotel for breakfast followed by a visit to the Royal Palace and National Museum. In the afternoon visit beautiful Wats (temples) in the town and travel to three villages: Ban Na Ouane, a Hmong village; Ban Ou, a Lao Loum Village; and Xang Khong, a textile weaving and Sa (mulberry bark) paper weaving village. Free evening to explore the night hill tribe market, the town sights, a massage or more.
Optional dawn visit to watch the procession of monks. Morning boat trip on the Nam Ou and Mekong Rivers to the Pak Ou Caves containing hundreds of statues of the Buddha. Options for the Afternoon:
Traditional Laotian Cooking Class
Traditional Laotian Textile Weaving Class
Trip to the Waterfall. Late afternoon climb to the top of Mount Phousi for a panoramic view of the area at sunset. Free evening (performance at the palace).
Day in transit to fly to Indonesia and go visit the UNESCO 8th century mystical Borobudur Buddhist Temple, discovered in the 18th c by Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore. Visit traditional artisan silver smith and pottery villages en route. Arrive early evening on the beautiful grounds of Hotel Manohara, located at the base of Borobudur. Library and film available covering the history of Borobudur.
Dawn trek up to the top of Borobudur to see the sunrise from the temple grounds. Breakfast at Manohara. Travel to Yogyakarta to the beautiful D’Omah Hotel in the village of Tembi, stopping at a potter’s village making terracotta wares with traditional techniques for 500 years. Lunch at a restaurant that trains street kids to cook and serves delectable vegetarian dishes. The evening is free to explore Tembi village or to use the pool or relaxing spa facilities at D’Omah.
Choice of morning cultural exploration activities (optional):
(1) Cooking Class. Create traditional delicious Javanese dishes.
(2) Batik Making Class. Batik techniques and create a 50x50cm painting
(3) Guided bicycle trip to a local village to explore village life
(4) Guided tour on motorbike to explore the peaceful co-existing religions of Yogyakarta (ride with a driver)
Lunch at Via Via (1:30pm-2:30pm).
Walking tour of Yogyakarta in the afternoon – along the River and community walls. (Optional Gamelan evening performance in Village)
Morning visit to the Kraton, the Sultan’s Palace, for a tour and a classical Javanese Golek Menak puppet performance (10:00am). Lunch in Yogyakarta. Bekak tour of Pasar Beringharjo, the main market bazaar in Yogyakarta, and Pasar Ngasem, the bird market, followed by walking exploration. The markets offer the traditional handmade Batik textiles of Java and many other hand-crafted items. Late Afternoon visit to the 9th C Prambanan Hindu Temple UNESCO heritage site. The temple was discovered in the 18th C by the Dutch and the 8 towering main temples (of 240 original temples) with their carved relief masterpieces were restored in 1910. Evening traditional Javanese dance performance of the Ramayana outside the grounds of the temple.
Morning flight to Singapore from Yogyakarta. Visit to the historic Singapore River colonial district with a tour of the Asian Civilisations Museum. Optional dinner in Boat Quay overlooking the Singapore River. Overnight in Singapore.
Tour of historic Old Chinatown, the historical Malay Muslim area of the city, Kampong Glam, and the beautiful Singapore Botanical Gardens with its famous Orchard Garden. Lunch in iconic Singapore Hawker Centre Evening free to explore Singapore. Overnight in Singapore.
Return travel from Singapore to the USA or optional extension to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Extra day in Singapore for those going to Cambodia.
Afternoon transfer to airport for flight from Singapore to Siem Reap. Visit to the Angkor National Archaeological museum and late afternoon visit to Les Chantiers Ecole, a non-profit complex where youth are taught traditional Khmer carving, lacquering and silk-making skills. Free evening to explore Psar Krom, the central market, Psar Chas, the old market or enjoy a massage at the hotel SPA facilities.
Full day sightseeing at the Angkor Wat UNESCO site. Visit Ta Prohm, and Angkor Wat temples. Ta Prohm has been left as found, overgrown with jungle. Visit to Prolung Khmer Pottery and Weaving Centre, a non-profit center making traditional woven cotton scarves, sarongs and pottery. Sunset champagne cruise of Tonle Sap Lake to see the floating village communities.
Visit the beautiful pink sandstone Banteay Srei, and the less visited Beng Mealea temple gems. Free evening to explore Siem Reap galleries, markets, and more. Option to attend a traditional Khmer dance performance at Apsara Theatre.
Morning visit to the UNESCO temple site to visit Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmer Empire, and the Bayon temple. Afternoon return to Singapore, travel back to the USA. Overnight in Singapore (additional) in case of a morning flight on Monday.