Cambodia Laos Vietnam Nature Culture Tour

Cambodia Laos Vietnam Nature Culture Tour

If you are interested in Cambodia Laos Vietnam Nature Culture Tour, come and join us at Kaiyote Tours!

Southeast Asia Nature and Culture Tour:  Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos

Our Southeast Asia trips visits both excellent birding locations as well as the best historic and cultural sites in Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos.  Many of the locations where we stay at are also very tranquil, and so if you are also looking for a bit a relaxation, this is the tour for you.  For those looking to see some new birds:  Target species include Giant Ibis, White-shouldered Ibis, Bengal Florican, Milky Stork, Greater Adjutant, White-winged Duck, Red-headed Vulture, Slender-billed Vulture, White-rumped Vulture, Mekong Wagtail, Green Peafowl, Cambodian Tailorbird and many other birds and mammals, with approximately 350 species expected on the list.  The will be great birding and photography opportunities, and visits to significant cultural and historical sites as well. 

  • Travel Dates: December 1 - 15, 2023
  • Group Size: 6 Travelers plus guides
  • Trip Length: 15 days
  • Rates: Rate per person = $5,350 (based on double occupancy)
  • Rates Include: Ground transfers, four flights within S.E. Asia, lodging, breakfast, lunch, dinner, group tours, park entrance fees, and basic travel insurance.
  • Not included:  International airfare, customs & immigration fees and visas, alcohol, and trip cancellation insurance.
  • Adventure level:  Moderate, please check the “Welcome” page for definition

Special offer:  Included with your trip (one per room) is a copy of the field guide “Birds of Southeast Asia” (Princeton Field Guides) by Craig Robson.  You will receive this when you reserve your trip so you will have time to study and get to know the beautiful birds of Southeast Asia. 

Map of the travel route here:  Southeast Asia (opens a new page)

Basic Itinerary

Day 1:  Arrival in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
From the United States, most flights to Cambodia will take 1 - 2 days to arrive, due to crossing the international date line, so schedule your flight to arrive on "Day 1" of the tour.  You will need to arrive at the Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH) and we will meet you at the airport and there will be a shuttle to the hotel where we will spend one night.  We will be staying in the heart of the city, close to the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers, and walking distance to many of the important cultural sites. Activities for the day will depend on your arrival time. 

Day 2:  Flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia
From Phnom Penh, we will take a morning, 1-hour flight to the city of Siem Reap, where we will be staying 3-nights at a hotel just outside the city.  This will be our base camp for visiting Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and the surrounding nature reserves for viewing birds and wildlife.  Within a 30-minute drive from our hotel is the Phnom Krom marshland, which is one of the best birding sites in the area to spend for a few hours in the countryside, located about 10-km south from Siem Reap town. This open marshland with paddy fields, ponds, bushes, and grassland stretches at the edge of the Great Tonle Sap Lake and is great for visitors to find many common bird species including the water birds and waders. About 40 species of common birds can be seen during a short visit. The marsh hosts significant ground for the critically endangered Giant Ibis, White-shouldered Ibis, Pale-capped Pigeon, Woolly-necked Stork, Indian Spotted Eagle, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, White-rumped Falcon, Savanna Nightjar, 16 species of woodpeckers, and 9 species of Owls.

Day 3:  Siem Reap, Cambodia: Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom
Today we will visit some of the most amazing temples in the world:  The Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom complex with 72 major temples (292 total), and over 900 years old. It is the largest religious monument (Hindu-Buddhist) in the world and covers over 400 acres.  It is truly amazing.  The forests surrounding the temples support birds such as Hainan Blue and Taiga Flycatchers, Forest Wagtail, White-throated Rock Thrush, Black-capped Kingfisher, Asian Barred Owlet, Black Baza, Alexandrine Parakeets, and Red-breasted Parakeets.  

Day 4:  Siem Reap, Cambodia: Kbal Spean and Prek Toal
About a 1-hour drive north of Siem Reap is Kbal Spean, an Angkorian era archaeological site in the western part of the Kulen Mountain Range. This site contains beautiful sculptures carved into the riverbed rock and the surrounding riverbanks.  A dry deciduous forest close to Kbal Spean is good for a few hours of birding. Birds include Banded Broadbill, Hainan Blue Flycatcher, Green-eared Barbet, Rufous-winged Buzzard, White-throated Rock-thrush, Black Baza, Crested Serpent-eagle, Great Slaty Woodpecker, White-bellied Woodpecker, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch.  In the afternoon we will head to the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary. This stunning Ramsar site is one of the largest water bird colonies in Southeast Asia.  Covered mostly by seasonally inundated freshwater swamp forest, it is home to the rare water birds of global significance: Spot-billed Pelican, Milky Stork, Painted Stork, Lesser Adjutant, Greater Adjutant, Black-headed Ibis, and Oriental Darter.

Day 5: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam:  Cát Tiên National Park
In the morning we will be flying to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, formerly called Saigon.  This will be a 1.5 hour non-stop flight.   From the Ho Chi Minh, airport it is a 3-hour drive to our lodging at the edge of Cát Tiên National Park, which protects 178,000 acres of one of the largest areas of lowland tropical forests in Vietnam. We will stay at the lodge, which overlooks the Dong Nai River, for 3-nights. 

Day 6:  Cát Tiên National Park, Vietnam
Cát Tiên National Park is one of the most important reserves of natural resources in Vietnam.  The biodiversity of the park is recognized by numerous organizations including the WWF and by UNESCO as an international biosphere reserve. The park contains many rare and endemic species of fauna and flora.  We will have two full days to see the park.  The park bird list contains nearly 400 species of birds, plus an impressive list of other flora and fauna. 

Day 7:  Cát Tiên National Park, Vietnam
A second day at Cát Tiên National Park and the surrounding areas.  Activities include hiking, birding, a boat trip on the Dong Nai River, visiting local indigenous villages, or simply relaxing and having a peaceful day at the lodge. 

Day 8:  Transfer to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
In the morning we will travel back to Hi Chi Ming City, where we will spend one night at a hotel near the city center and overlooking the Sông Sài Gòn (Saigon River).  Our hotel is within walking distance to several parks and important monuments. Birds we can find in the local parks include Spotted Dove, Streak-eared Bulbul, Yellow-browed Warbler, White-rumped Munia, Scarlet Minivet, Ashy Drongo, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker, White-throated Kingfisher, Chinese Pond-Heron, House Swift, Large-billed Crow, and Yellow-vented Bulbul.

Day 9:  Flight to Hanoi, Vietnam
From Ho Chi Minh City, it is a 2-hour non-stop morning flight to Hanoi where we will spend one night at a hotel in the heart of the city.  We will arrive early in the day with time for a tour of historic Hanoi, and as always, our hotel is close to the best birding parks in Hanoi.  Birds to find include White-throated Fantail, Common Tailorbird, Swinhoe's White-eye,  Oriental Magpie-Robin,  Gray-headed Canary-Flycatcher,  Japanese Tit,  Taiga Flycatcher, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker,  Japanese Thrush,  Dark-sided Flycatcher,  Blue Whistling-Thrush, and White Wagtail.

Day 10:  Flight to Vientiane, Laos:  Nam Ngum Lake, Laos
From Hanoi it is a 1.5 hour morning flight to the City of Vientiane, Laos where we will meet our shuttle and continue our travels with a 2-hour drive to our lodging located on Nam Ngum Lake, where we will spend 3-nights. 

Day 11:  Nam Ngum Lake, Laos
Nam Ngum Lake is the largest reservoir in Laos and when full, maintains over 91,000 acres of surface area. The Nam Ngum River is a major tributary to the Mekong River. Our lodge is overlooks the lake.  We will spend the day at the lodge and the surrounding area. Activities include hiking, canoeing, and birding.  Bird found in the area include Coppersmith Barbet, Common Iora, Black-naped Monarch, Gray-breasted Prinia, Sooty-headed Bulbul, Pin-striped Tit-Babbler, Puff-throated Babbler, Great Myna, Oriental Magpie-Robin, Crimson Sunbird, Scaly-breasted Munia, Greater Coucal, Dark-necked Tailorbird, Stripe-throated Bulbul, Green-billed Malkoha, and Black-crested Bulbul.

Day 12:  Nam Ngum Lake, Laos
We will spend the day exploring the Vang Vieng area, which is a 1-hour drive north of our lodging.  This area has numerous geological, cultural, and birding sites.  The area is famous for its limestone mountains, monoliths, coves, waterfalls, and blue lagoons.  The area surrounding the town of Vang Vieng includes over 200 species of birds. 

Day 13:  Transfer to Vientiane, Laos
In the morning we will travel back to Vientiane, with a few stops along the way to look for birds and see the local sites.  Our hotel is in the historic district of Vientiane, walking distance to the temples, and only a couple of blocks from the Mekong River.  Birds that can be seen at the local park close to our hotel include Malaysian Pied-Fantail, Common Tailorbird, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Chestnut-tailed Starling, Common Myna, Germain's Swiftlet, Red-breasted Parakeet, Black Drongo, Gray-headed Canary-Flycatcher, and Red-whiskered Bulbul.

Day 14: Flight to Phnom Penh, Cambodia
It is a 1.5 hour flight back to Phnom Penh, where we will spend one night at a hotel in downtown Phnom Penh, close to all the interesting sites and temples.  Phnom Penh has several beautiful botanical gardens and sanctuaries to visit. Our hotel is walking distance to the best birding parks in the city, which are also significate historic sites. Birds include Wreathed Hornbill, Red-breasted Parakeet, Golden-bellied Gerygone, Ashy Minivet, Black-naped Oriole, Ashy Drongo, Hair-crested Drongo, Brown Shrike, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Streak-eared Bulbul, Red Collared-Dove, Asian Koel, Collared Kingfisher, Plain-backed Sparrow, and Cotton Pygmy-Goose.

Day 15:  Fly Day
There will be a shuttle to the airport for flights back home. If you have a late in the day departure, there will be more time to see the city of Phnom Penh. 

Please note:  The lodging locations described in this itinerary are always our first choice based on availability.