Small Group Tours and Holidays in Laos and Cambodia
Laos and Cambodia – A Journey to the Land of Forever Mountain
Foreign Government Travel Warnings
We constantly monitor the advice posted by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). In particular we will always advise clients of any travel warnings. At present there are no warnings against travel to any of the areas we visit in Laos or Cambodia. It should be noted that this information applies to British citizens. Other nationals are asked to check the current position of their respective government.
Accommodation and Meals
At Undiscovered Destinations we know our travellers prefer to stay in comfortable, mid-range accommodation. Rooms on this tour usually come with private bathroom except on the jungle trip and also in the local homestay in Cambodia. When necessary air-conditioning will be provided. In general you will find your hotel has a restaurant and/or bar. Some smaller guesthouses, homestays and the ecolodge will not have such facilities.
We welcome solo travellers and single rooms will be allocated subject to the applicable tour supplement. Please note that on occasions you may not always be allocated a double or twin room, as some hotels have designated single rooms. These may be smaller in size. However, the supplement payable takes this into consideration.
Food & Drink
The daily meal basis is shown in the tour itinerary; breakfast (B), lunch and dinner (D). Please note that lunch may be a picnic. Drinks are not included and will be payable locally in cash.
If you have any special dietary requirements you must notify us at the time of booking. While we will make every effort to cater for you, we cannot guarantee that this will be possible.
Budgeting for your Tour
You will need some extra money to cover meals and drinks not included in the tour price, any optional sightseeing, souvenirs and items of a personal nature such as laundry.
The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.
The prices for drinks can vary greatly depending upon location and the prices detailed below are an average guide. In general you would expect that drinks purchased in a supermarket or local bar to be less expensive, whilst drinks in an upmarket bar or restaurant may be more expensive.
Tipping – Guide and Drivers
Tipping is common practice in Asia. If your local guide has been helpful then you could think about tipping. As a rough guide, drivers can be tipped between $2-4 per day and guides between $7-15 per day – these figures are per group, not per person.
ATM Availability: There is a reasonable network of ATMs across the region in larger towns and cities which accept internationally issued cards. In rural Northern Laos ATM machines are not readily available
Credit and Debit Card Acceptance: Larger hotels take Visa or Mastercard
Local Currency: Lao kip (LAK) / Cambodia Riel (KHR
Recommended Currency for Exchange: US Dollar (Note that torn and old US dollar notes are not generally accepted in Laos)
Where to Exchange: Your guide will advise you
Joining your Tour
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
Joining Tour Abroad
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive an airport transfer, both on arrival and departure include in the tour price. In order that the transfer can be arranged please ensure that you advise us of your flight information once available. Please advise the date, time and flight number for your arrival/departure. If we have not been advised of this information at least 2 weeks before travel, then you will be required to make your own way to the hotel on Day 1 of your tour.
It is a condition of booking with Undiscovered Destinations that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip.
Most nationals including UK, EU and US visitors require a visa for entry to Laos. This can be obtained in advance from a Lao embassy or currently on arrival at Vientiane airport. The visa will be valid for 30 days and cost depends on your nationality (from 30-42 USD). One passport sized photograph will be required, but we suggest you travel with a couple of spare photos just in case this requirement changes. Please visit the link below for more information:
Most nationals including UK, EU and US visitors require a visa for entry to Cambodia. This can be obtained in advance from a Cambodian embassy or currently on arrival at Siem Reap airport. The visa will be valid for 30 days and cost 30 USD. One passport sized photograph will be required, but we suggest you travel with a couple of spare photos just in case this requirement changes. An electronic e-visa applied for in advance is now also a possibility. Please visit the link below for more information:
Visa regulations change frequently so please check for the most up to date information from your relevant embassy.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, valid for at least six months after the date of return to the UK.
We strongly advise that your passport contains a minimum of two blank pages for each country visited, as this may be a requirement of the local immigration authorities. In addition certain countries will stipulate that the two blank pages are opposite each other. If you are unable to meet these requirements you may be refused boarding by your airline or denied entry by the immigration authorities.
For specific information about the requirements for your destination please check with the country’s embassy or consulate. Alternatively UK citizens can visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Vaccinations & Protection
As with travel to most parts of Asia, we strongly recommend that you contact your doctor’s surgery or a specialist travel clinic for up-to-date information, advice and the necessary vaccinations.
For a visit of less than one month, almost certainly you will be advised to have immunisations against the following: Diphtheria and Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Meningitis. Anti-malaria medication will also be required and the use of a DEET-containing insect repellent is highly recommended.
Preparing for your tour
Laos has a tropical monsoon climate with two distinct seasons: May to October is the rainy season and November to April is the dry season. It gets hottest in March and April when temperatures can reach as high as 38C/100F. The lowest temperatures, usually in December, are around 15C/59F. The average temperature is between 25C/77F and 30C/84F. Please note that in the mountain areas in Northern Laos in the dry season it can be cold at night and first thing in the morning so please prepare accordingly.
The climate in Cambodia can, roughly said, be divided into two different seasons: the monsoon (rainy) season (June to October) and the dry season (November to May). Actually there are four different periods throughout the year:
November – February: Cool and dry
March – May: Hot and dry
June – August: Hot and wet
September – October: Cool and wet
Maximum daily temperatures range from the high 20°C in January to more than 40°C in April. Daily minimum temperatures are usually no less than 15° C except in the mountain areas in north Laos where temperatures can be lower than this.
Most people will want to travel during the dry season, with November to February being the peak tourist period, but we believe there is a lot to be said for travelling off season. If travellers visit between July - September, although there is a chance it will rain (likely only once per day and for a short time), the country will be at its greenest and even in the more touristy places (Angkor Wat, Luang Prabang etc.) there will be far fewer visitors, making it a much more authentic experience.
When it comes to clothing it is usually recommended that lighter clothes are worn through the day, and warmer ones at night. The temperature can be cold at night, especially from November to February, so please bring some warm clothing with you. A hat is also advised to be worn through the day to protect from the sun, along with at least one piece of waterproof clothing for any days that the weather may be wet or windy.
The first thing on your list should be a first aid kit. Whilst there is no undue cause for alarm, travellers are best advised to travel well-prepared: adequately immunized, with sufficient supplies of prescription drugs, along with a medical kit. Suncream/sunblock is a must. Insect repellent, including a bite spray will also be useful to have. Please bring a torch or head torch for this tour as electricity outages can occur and it will be of assistance in dimly lit areas, especially on the trip up the Nam Nern into the jungle.
Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes are recommended. When travelling lighter sandals are a good option.
Luggage on tour
Your luggage should not exceed 20kgs (44lbs). One large rucksack or soft type bag, and one small hand luggage rucksack is acceptable.
Electric Supply & Plugs
Electrical supply is 220V and plugs generally have two-prong round or flat pins.
Tour Itinerary Versions
Please ensure that you have an up-to-date copy of these tour notes immediately before you travel, as from time to time our itineraries may be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. You will be informed of any major changes to your tour but small changes may just be added to these tour notes. These tour notes were prepared 16/05/16