Khmer Kingdoms: A Journey to Angkor

  • Peruse traditional markets, visit private galleries, and cruise the Mekong
  • The Khmer ruins of Phimai and Phanom Rung in eastern Thailand, and Vat Phu in southern Laos
  • Exclusive look into the architecture and history of Southeast Asia's former rulers
GeoEx travel to Cambodia
Trip Type: Sample Itinerary
Trip Length: 14 Days
Activity type(s): Cultural Tour
Trip Extensions: Call 888-570-7108 for custom extension options

As empire builders go, the Khmers don’t get nearly the publicity lavished on the Romans or the Mongols, but for about 600 years—from the 800s to the 1430s—they ruled over much of Southeast Asia and in the process created Angkor. Our Southeast Asia team pays tribute to Khmer architectural triumphs—Angkor is just the brightest jewel in a very sparkling crown—in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia, and in the process they introduce us to a heady cultural mélange.

This imaginative trip ends with a glorious bang in  Arnold Toynbee’s “epic poem” of Angkor, where you'll see wonders that include the magnificent and relatively unknown Banteay Chhmar temple, currently being restored by the Global Heritage Fund. But before that we’ll visit markets and galleries, learn about traditional arts, meet local experts, and take a superb Mekong cruise, meandering amid the 4,000 islands of Siphandon. We’ll visit eastern Thailand’s magnificent ruins of Phimai (a Buddhist temple, though by the time it was created the Khmers were Hindus) and Phanom Rung, perched on the rim of a volcano. And in southern Laos we’ll wander wide-eyed at Vat Phu, a particularly winsome World Heritage Site, set in jungle greenery below Mount Phu Kao.

If you’re craving more, ask about our Cambodia extension that explores Franco-Kampuchean-flavored Phnom Penh and the 7th-century pre-Angkorian temples of Sambor Prei Kuk.


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Itinerary at a Glance

  • Day 1: arrive in Bangkok
  • Days 2 & 3: Bangkok
  • Day 4: drive to Phimai
  • Day 5: drive to Phanom Rung
  • Day 6: drive to Pakse
  • Days 7 & 8: cruising Mekong’s Siphandon Islands, explore Vat Phu and Champassak
  • Day 9: back in Pakse
  • Day 10: fly to Siem Reap
  • Days 11–13: exploring Angkor temples
  • Day 14: depart Siem Reap.