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Thailand, Cambodia & Laos
The Best of Southeast Asia

with Humanitarian Photojournalist Karl Grobl

Jan 18 - Feb 2, 2014

Cost: $5975 (+ $475 for 3 flights: Bangkok - Chiang Rai, Luang Prabang - Siem Reap & Phnom Penh - Bangkok), includes airport transfers, all ground transport, boat trips, all 15 nights hotel accommodations, breakfasts and dinners, 2 lunches, entrance-fees at tourist sites, dinner shows, and local guides.   The price is based on double occupancy.  A single supplement of $725 applies. 
Trip Leader: Karl Grobl -The trip will be limited to 9 participants.

Southeast Asia has long been a favored destination for adventurous travelers. On this trip we visit some of the most interesting and photogrenic locations in the region. we begin in the Kingdom of Thailand with its irresistible combination of breathtaking natural beauty and inspiring temples. Throughour our adventure, Thailand's warm hospitality, its world renowned cuisine, and its friendly people will delight and inspire us. Next it's on to Laos for an unparraleled glimpse of traditional Southeast Asian life. From the fertile lowlands of the Mekong River valley to the fascinating French colonial town of Luang Prabang, sleepy little Laos is certainly one of the highlights of Southeast Asia.

Next we're off to Cambodia, which has finally emerged from decades of war and isolation and is now truly on the Southeast Asian travel map. Our first stop is Siem Reap, the gateway to the ancient temples of Angkor, the most important archeological site in Southeast Asia. Finally it's off to Phnom Penh for our final exploration and an unforgettable stop at the famous and photographer friendly Foreign Correspondent's Club.

We will start our tour in Bangkok, Thailand's bustling capitol city where we will explore the Grand Palace, cruise Bangkok's canals, and photograph vendors in the floating markets. Then it's off to northern Thailand where we visit and photograph hill tribes including the famous Karen Long Neck tribe. From northern Thailand we embark on a two day boat journey down the mysterious Mekong river to Luang Prabang, Laos. During our boat journey we will be traversing and photographing largely unexplored areas of the rural Laotian countryside, still rich in traditions and authentic Southeast Asian culture. After a breathtaking two days on the river we emerge in Luang Prabang, one of the most beautifully preserved French colonial towns in Asia with its green hills and gold temples; where every day, hundreds of Buddhist monks take their morning alms walk through town.

From Laos, we travel onward to Siem Reap Cambodia to explore and photograph yet another UNESCO World Heritage site: the stunning ruins of Angkor, a collection of over one hundred temples set against the dramatic backdrop of lush jungle greenery and verdant fields. Stretching over some 400 Sq. km, including farested area, Angkor Archeological Park contains the magnificent remains of the different capitols of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century. From Siem Reap we travel overland to Cambodia’s bustling capitol city of Phnom Penh where we explore this fascinating city while staying and dining at the world famous, photographer friendly, Foreign Correspondent's Club. Finally we travel onward to Bangkok where we catch our flights back home.

New! - Karl's slide show of the 2009 tour click here

Karl's slide show of the 2008 tour group 1 click here

Karl's slide show of the 2008 tour group 2 click here

To view Karl's slide show of the 2007 tour click here

To view some of Karl's images of Southeast Asia click here

To view some of Karl's images of the 2007 tour click here


Day one: Jan 18 - Tour participants arrive at Bangkok's brand new international airport and will be met by our

local tour representative. Each guest will be sent via private taxi to the beautiful Siam Heritage hotel. Once settled in,

participants will gather for our pre-trip orientation meeting, followed by dinner and a walking tour of Bangkok's most

vibrant night market. Those who are feeling jet lagged can opt for relaxation or perhaps even a rejuvenating Thai

massage. We will spend the night in Bangkok.   


Day Two:  Wake up in Bangkok, enjoy a delicious breakfast at our hotel, then depart on our private
tour: in the morning
we depart for Damnern Saduak (Bangkok's famed "floating market"), where we explore and photograph the
daily spectacle from our private
long tailed boat. In the afternoon we visit and photograph Bangkok's ornate Royal
Palace and the colossal reclining Buddha. Following our group dinner your evening
is free.
We'll spend the night in Bangkok.


Day Three: In the morning we go to visit the ancient city of Ayutthaya. Founded in 1351 it was the capital of
Thailand until 1767, when it was sacked by the Burmese, and the capital was eventually moved to Bangkok.
There we'll photograph the numerous ancient temples. In the evening
we photograph the vibrant night market. Those
who want to stay up late may even have the opportunity to shoot Muay Thai boxing up close!
We will spend our final night in Bangkok.  


Day Four:  After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our short flight to Chiang Rai where we are met and
transported to Chiang Saen (Golden Triangle). We check in to the tranquility of the Imperial Golden Triangle Resort
where tour
guests can grab a quick lunch and then either relax by the pool or take a short orientation walking tour of
the local area, complete with river views, Buddhist temples and bustling markets. Later we embark on a sunset photo
shoot along the
scenic Mekong River followed by dinner at a local riverside restaurant. We spend the night at the
Imperial Golden Triangle Resort. 


Day Five: After a delicious breakfast we meet our English speaking guide and our private van and depart to visit and
photograph several local hill tribe villages including the famous long neck tribe. In the afternoon we are
transported to
the Myanmar (Burma) border where we cross over and photograph the fascinating market (the visit to
Myanmar is

optional). After crossing back into Thailand, we are transported back to our hotel for a delicious dinner and then spend

the night at the Imperial Golden Triangle Resort. ..

Six: We wake up early this morning for our one hour van ride to the border town of Chiang Kong where we
meet our Laotian tour operator who will escort us across the river to Haui Xia, Laos. On the Laotian side our
papers are processed and we are delivered to our private boat for our two day river cruise to Luang Prabang. We spend
the day on the boat enjoying and photographing along the way. Tonight, after the leisurely river cruise on the scenic
Mekong we arrive at Pak Beng, a sleepy jungle settlement where we check in to our beautiful Hotel
. At dinner we enjoy a
local dance performance and overnight at Pak Beng

Day Seven: After breakfast we again board our private boat for the continuation of our Mekong river trip to Luang
Prabang. Along the way we visitt the amazing Pok Au caves and several traditional riverside villages before arriving in
the UNESCO World Heritage site of Luang Prabang, where we check into
our Hotel. For dinner we dine at a wonderful
sidewalk café followed by a photographic exploration of Luang Prabang's vibrant night market.
We spend the night in
Luang Prabang.

Eight: This morning we wake up early to photograph the daily early morning ritual of saffron-clad monks with
black Alms-giving bowls being given offerings from the local people, including the ubiquitous sticky rice. At about
we return to our hotel and after breakfast, we enjoy a short-guided walking tour visiting the city's oldest and most
beautiful temples. Today we also visit a local village of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Namay, Hmong Village,
Ou, Laoloum Village and Ban Thapene, Khmu Village, then drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall Picnic lunch
falls, return to Luang Prabang by afternoon. Later we explore Street Night Market. We spend the night in Luang
Prabang. .

Nine: Free day in Luang Prabang…..explore the local area, visit and speak with Buddhist monks in the
monasteries, or enjoy shopping and photographing the Phosi Market where you will see such diverse offerings as dried
buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings. We spend the night in
Luang Prabang.


Day Ten : After a leisurely breakfast we board our flight to Siem Reap and visit Angkor Wat for orientation
and a sunset photo shoot. Upon our arrival in Siem Reap we are met by a local tour operator and transported to our hotel,
the beautiful Pavillon Indochine. After checking in and grabbing a quick snack, we are transported to the entrance gate of
the famous Angkor Wat where we purchase our 3 day entry passes and continue into the Angkor complex for an
introductory, sunset shoot at the main temple.


Day Eleven: Angor Temples: With the help of our English speaking Angkor guide, we spend all day exploring 3 or 4
major Angkor temples and several "secret ones" too. We even schedule an optional model shoot at Bayon, using one of
the traditionally dressed Apsara dancers and visit a famous Buddhist monk who might be perfoming ritual cleansing baths
for Cambodians who come from all over the country to seek his treatments.


Day Twelve : Tonle Sap village / boat tour & Beng Melea: First we drive to Kompong Khleang, one of the largest
settlements on the Tonle sp lake. Over 20,000 people live in high stilt houses which tower up to 10 meters over the water.
It is a spectacular place which only gets a small number of visitors. There is a small island at the centre of the village
which has a bustling market. We take a boat tour to see the floating market, then return for a lunch of fresh fish prepared
Khmer style at our boatman's house. After lunch we drive to the remote and recently "de-mined" Angkor site of Beng
Melea for some amazing, "Indiana Jones" type temple exploration. Beng Melea surpasses even the famous Ta Prohm
for atmosphere. The whole site of Beng Melea is bathed with dappled light from the jungle canopy making it a fabulous
temple for adventurous photographers


Day Thirteen: Sunrise shoot at Ta Prom: This morning we wake very early to explore and photograph sunrise at
amazing Ta Phrom, where jungle tree roots still cover the ruined temples. After our morning photo shoot we return to the
Pavillon Indochine for breakfast, then you are free to spend the remainder of the day re-visiting and re-photographing
your favorite ancient temples and traditional villages around Angkor, or grab a guide and seek out your own new temples!
In the evening we are treated to a gourmet dinner at the famous Café Indochine.

Day Fourteen: After breakfast we board our private van for transport to Cambodia's vibrant capitol city,
Phnom Penh.
Along the way we witness local Cambodian life, rice fields and even stop for lunch in a town where fried
tarantula is the local delicacy.
After arriving in Phnom Penh we enjoy dinner overlooking the river. We spend the night at
the world famous Foreign Correspondent's Club.

Day Fifteen: We are free to explore, relax, shop and or photograph the sites of Phnom Penh. We'll have the

option to visit the famous Killing Fields. We spend another night at the FCC.

Sixteen: Feb 2: After breakfast you will have some free time around Phnom Penh before we are
transported in the afternoon to the airport for flights back to Bangkok where guests can meet their onward
flights home.




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