Monk meditating underneath tree in garden in Luang Prabang

Soulful Pursuits

Trip code
SFP001

Steeped in Buddhist tradition and indigenous, animist beliefs, Cambodia and Laos make the perfect setting for this gentle exploration of Southeast Asian spirituality.

Wellness is the focus of this trip, so we’ve woven together time-honoured local traditions with some of the most cutting-edge innovations in self-care. From practicing mindfulness yoga in a botanical garden to participating in a Laotian baci ceremony, get ready for a holistic journey through mind, body and soul.

Pricing

Price based on 5* accommodation
From
A$8,600
pp

Key facts

15 days / 14 nights
Experience different sides of Cambodian and Lao culture with an afternoon of guided meditation, a traditional baci ceremony, a tour of rural villages on the outskirts of Siem Reap, dinner at a traditional Khmer villa, and a visit to Phare, The Cambodian Circus
Understand history in context on a full-day tour of Angkor’s temples, a gondola cruise on the moat of Angkor Thom, and a visit to Wat Phou Temple
Experience awe-inspiring scenery as you climb sacred Mount Phousi, cruise on the Mekong River, and take a walking tour of rural villages in southern Laos
Get active as you explore Luang Prabang by bike
Embrace self-care with six wellness experiences, including mindfulness yoga, numerous massages, guided meditation, and spa treatments
Spend two full days and two half days enjoying the exclusive facilities at the Six Senses Resort on Koh Krabey Island
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DAY 5-7 CHAMPASAK DAY 1-4 LUANG PRABANG DAY 8-11 SIEM REAP DAY 12-15 KOH KRABEY
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DAY 5-7 CHAMPASAK DAY 1-4 LUANG PRABANG DAY 8-11 SIEM REAP DAY 12-15 KOH KRABEY

Internal transportation is almost entirely by plane, with three domestic flights (from Luang Prabang to Pakse, from Pakse to Siem Reap, and from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville). You’ll also have a short speedboat trip to Koh Krabey, and a four-hour drive to return to Phnom Penh for your departure flight.

What's great

This itinerary is full of experiences chosen with wellness in mind, including yoga, massages and meditation

The included destinations are classic yet quiet, away from the hustle and bustle of the cities

There are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the culture, spirituality and Buddhist traditions of Cambodia & Laos

The pace is nice and slow, giving you plenty of time for rest and reflection

You’ll finish in barefoot luxury with a stay at one of the world’s top wellness resorts

Things to consider

This is a themed trip, designed for those with a genuine interest in spirituality and wellness

This itinerary takes advantage of the beach season in Koh Krabey, from November to March. If you’d like to travel outside of those dates, ask us about alternative destinations

You’ll only cover four, relatively quiet destinations in Laos and Cambodia, so this trip won’t suit those who like a packed itinerary

Most included accommodation is fairly remote (think private islands, riverside resorts and quiet neighbourhoods) so don’t expect much in the way of local nightlife

The experience

This itinerary is just an example of what we can do. Add destinations, swap out experiences, change the pace — whatever you want from your holiday, we’re here to make it happen.

Day 1-4

Luang Prabang

Legend has it the Buddha himself prophesied the rise of Luang Prabang. True or not, for the past 600 years this glittering town has been the religious heart of Laos. Rise early to witness a silent procession of orange-robed monks receiving alms from the faithful, then get an insight into their daily lives as you chat to local monks at a hillside temple. You’ll also receive coaching from a yoga expert in the tropical surroundings of the Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden, choose from the many treatments at Luang Prabang’s finest spa, and enjoy drinks and canapés on a sunset Mekong cruise. There’s nowhere better to begin your spiritual enquiries than Luang Prabang.

Alms giving in Luang Prabang

Highlights

Climb sacred Mount Phousi and enjoy (in our opinion) some of the most incredible views in all of Asia

Visit a Buddhist temple for guided meditation and discussion with the local monks

Take a mindfulness yoga class with Michelle Luehman, who has studied yoga with world-renowned masters across multiple disciplines and cultures

Cycle through the sleepy streets of Luang Prabang, visiting gilded wats and glittering palaces

Top view of Luang Prabang

Day 5-7

Champasak

Life in Champasak is so slow it’s practically stationary, and the car-free river island of Don Daeng is an idyllic base from which to explore. On arrival, enjoy sunset over the water as you’re welcomed with a traditional baci “spirit calling” ceremony. Then, spend a day exploring on foot and by bike, sampling exotic fruits, learning about Siamese, Vietnamese and European influences on local worship, helping out with basket-weaving or rice-planting, hunting for Khmer ruins tangled in the jungle. Wat Phou is the jewel in Champasak’s crown — with magnificent views to boot — and an afternoon at the spa will take care of any aches and pains from climbing to the top!

Champasak - Molydar Souama for Unsplash

Highlights

Participate in a Laotian baci ceremony, believed to restore harmony to the 32 spirits of the body

Explore the traditional villages of southern Laos on foot, visiting the oldest active temple in Champasak, a 19th century Catholic church, and perhaps taking part in seasonal village activities

Visit sacred Wat Phou Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best-preserved Khmer monuments outside of Cambodia

Enjoy a relaxing massage at the Champasak Spa and Wellness Centre

Siphondon Island

The finer detail

  • Breakfast every day
  • Five Lunches: one during the cycle tour of Luang Prabang; one homemade lunch with a family in Champasak; one at a restaurant in Champasak; one hosted by a local family at a village in the Angkor Temple Complex; one organic lunch after meditation in Siem Reap
  • Three Dinners: one after your Baci ceremony in Champasak; one at your Siem Reap hotel; one in the grounds of Villa Chandara in the Siem Reap countryside
  • One full-day experience: tour of the Angkor temples with a sunset gondola ride on the moat of Angkor Thom
  • Ten half-day experiences: monks alms & an introduction to Buddhism in Luang Prabang; yoga in Luang Prabang’s botanical gardens with an expert teacher; a traditional Laotian massage; morning guided meditation at a temple; cycling tour of Luang Prabang; walking tour of a village near Champasak; visit Wat Phou temple; a treatment at Champasak Spa & Wellness Centre; sunrise meditation in Siem Reap; explore the countryside villages of Siem Reap
  • Five evening experiences: climb Mount Phousi in Luang Prabang for sunset; shared sunset cruise on the Mekong River; Baci ceremony in Champasak with dinner; performance of Phare, The Cambodian Circus; dinner in the gardens of Villa Chandara
  • All entrance fees to sites included in guided experiences
  • All internal transport & accommodation

Day 1:
Car transfer from Luang Prabang airport to hotel (15 minutes)

Day 5:
Car transfer from town to Luang Prabang airport (15 minutes)
Flight from Luang Prabang to Pakse (1 hour 40 minutes)
Car transfer from Pakse to Champasak (1 hour)

Day 8:
Car transfer from Champasak to Pakse airport (1 hour)
Flight from Pakse to Siem Reap (1 hour)
Car transfer from Siem Reap airport to town (15 minutes)

Day 12:
Car transfer from town to Siem Reap airport (15 minutes)
Flight from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville (50 minutes)
Shuttle transfer from Sihanoukville airport to pier (10 minutes)
Shared boat transfer from Sihanoukville to Koh Krabey (15 minutes)

Day 15:
Shared boat transfer from Koh Krabey to Sihanoukville (15 minutes)
Car transfer from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh airport (4 hours)

  • International flights
  • Meals not mentioned
  • Entrance fees to any sites not included in guided experiences
  • Tips for guides & porters