In modern cities and centuries-old ruins, discover the diversity of Southeast Asia during a 10-night journey to Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia. Explore Singapore’s Malaysian and Chinese roots. Take a two-night train journey to Bangkok aboard the elegant Eastern & Oriental Express. In Kuala Kangsar and Kanchanaburi, choose from a selection of included excursions, featuring hiking, river cruises, plantation tours and more. In Bangkok, visit golden temples and explore the ruins of the ancient capital of Ayutthaya. Fly to Siem Reap and discover the serene Angkor temples. Enjoy deluxe accommodations and an extensive meal plan with wine at dinner.
Day 1 & 2
Depart from gateway city – In transit
AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Singapore. Please check your luggage from your gateway city to your arrival city. Your claim checks should have the following airport code: SIN. Cross international date line.
Arrive into Singapore
Arrive at Singapore Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the designated meeting spot, where an AHI Travel representative will meet them. The meeting location will be provided with your final documents. Transfer, and check in to the Shangri-La Hotel. Gather with your fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception this evening.
Join a local expert to learn about the rich cultural heritage and economy of modern-day Singapore. Explore Singapore’s sights on a panoramic tour, and pass by vistas of the skyscraping Marina Bay Sands resort and Merlion Park. Notice one of Singapore’s icons, the mythical Merlion, a statue that has a head of a lion and the body of a fish. Drive through the Civic District past the Padang, Cricket Club, Parliament House, Supreme Court, City Hall and more. Visit the oldest Chinese temple in Singapore, the Thian Hock Keng Temple, often called the “Temple of Heavenly Bliss.” When Chinese sailors first landed on the shores of Singapore, they built the temple and dedicated it to the Goddess of the Sea in appreciation for a safe passage across the South China Sea. During your visit, admire the façade’s intricate carvings interspersed with statues of mythical beasts. Spend the day exploring Singapore’s diverse cultures and rich, eclectic history. Begin with an excursion through Kampong Glam, a Malay enclave that originated as a fishing village at the mouth of the Rochor River. This area of Singapore was famed for its thriving gelam trees that were used for building ships. Then continue your tour by viewing Chinatown’s shophouses and Little India’s exotic flower and spice market.
Singapore/Eastern & Oriental Express Enrichment
The region’s Peranakan community arrived in Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore between the 15-17th centuries and settled in port towns. Today, come face-to-face with Singapore’s rich, multicultural heritage as you visit a Peranakan enclave. Meet a family who will share secrets of Chinese dumplings. These delightfully savory and sweet dumplings usually consist of pork, mushrooms and a tangy array of spices and seeds. Enjoy a taste of this regional favorite. Then visit a local home to learn about traditional beadwork and embroidery. This type of Nyonya needlework is an important aspect of Peranakan heritage. Relax and share stories during a delicious lunch. This afternoon, board the opulent Eastern & Oriental Express. After departure from Singapore Woodlands station, your journey begins. Cross over the Causeway, which links Singapore island to Malaysia. Sit back and sip an afternoon tea while watching the cityscape fade into a lush rural tapestry of plantations and jungle. This evening, pause momentarily at Kuala Lumpur’s colonial station, a Moorish-style building that was constructed in 1911. If you wish, you may disembark briefly to stretch your legs.
Kuala Kangsar, Malaysia
Choose one of the following excursions this morning:
-Traditional Village Experience: Immerse yourself in traditional Malaysian culture during a visit to a rural village. Following a warm welcome and a dance performance, taste the flavors of this region. Browse locally produced handicrafts from woven items and mats to embroidered pieces and decorative fish traps. Then learn about the process of planting and harvesting rice during a stroll through nearby rice paddies, and enjoy a visit to a plantation that grows banana and durian fruits. Before concluding your adventure, taste chips made from these iconic Malaysian treats and pick your favorite. Do you like durian or banana?
-Countryside Hill Trek: Begin your excursion at a banana and durian fruit plantation. Durian, a native fruit to Southeast Asia, is renowned worldwide for its unique odor and thorn-covered husk. Sample banana and durian chips and then stretch your legs during an uphill walk with a guide. Nature lovers will delight in the surrounding scenery while learning about the region’s local wildlife and ecological treasures. Once atop the hill, take in gorgeous views of the village and landscape below. (Active)
Back on board, enjoy a full afternoon at leisure to lounge and converse with fellow passengers. Relax with a cocktail in the open-air observation car and revel in the landscape of rice paddies, emerald foliage and colorful country villages passing by. As you cross into Thailand, wave to locals traveling nearby on mopeds and bicycles
Choose one of the following excursions this morning:
-Kanchanaburi: At a nearby jetty, board a boat to cruise down the Kwai Yai River and travel under the storied Bridge Over the River Kwai. During your cruise, learn about the Thailand-Burma railway from a local historian. Then board a motor coach that will take you past the North Temple and Chinese Cemetery. Visit the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre and browse the exhibits and photographs. You may also wish to visit the nearby Don Rak War Cemetery, where the 7,000 Allied soldiers who died while building the railway during World War II are buried.
-Cycle Tour: Journey to the agricultural village of Nong Khao, our jumping off location to begin a fun, hour-long bicycle tour. Climb aboard your bicycle and ride by emerald rice fields, drinking in the beautiful and iconic landscape of Thailand. During a brief stop at a local farm, watch a demonstration and sample locally made refreshments. Then step into an ancient-style wooden house for a relaxing herbal infusion. (Active)
-Culinary Tour: Join a guide for a visit to a colorful wet market, followed by a tour of a rice noodle house. Here, you will learn about traditional Thai cooking methods. Board a river boat at Wat Nue Pier and sail along the River Kwai. Onboard, discover secrets of traditional Thai cuisine during a cooking class. Later, the boat will dock near Chong Kai War cemetery, which you may choose to visit if you wish.
Join the train at the station and complete the final leg of your Eastern & Oriental Express journey to Bangkok. Upon arrival in Bangkok, transfer to The Peninsula Bangkok.
Discover the history and intriguing culture of this fascinating nation during a discussion with a local expert. Discover Thailand’s colorful river life as you cruise the Chao Phraya River and Thonburi canals. Along the way, enjoy viewing the riverbanks full of stilted wooden homes, colonial buildings and a vibrant local market. Bangkok merchants still use the canals for travel and to transport their merchandise throughout the city. End your cruise at the Tha Chang pier and continue your excursion with a visit to the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha Temple. From the 15th century, this beautifully decorated wat, or temple, is one of the most important Buddhist temples in Thailand. Next, take a tuk tuk ride to Wat Po to see the reclining Buddha. This temple that sprawls over eight hectares is also considered the country’s first university. Discover the culinary pleasures of Thai cuisine during lunch at the Blue Elephant, Bangkok. The prestigious restaurant is housed in a century-old building along the historical Sathorn Road. Built in 1903, the restaurant was originally the site of the Bombay Department Store. It was restored in 2002 and became the prestigious Blue Elephant Cooking School and Restaurant, Bangkok. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure in Bangkok. Browse for souvenirs, such as a small painted Buddha and some lovely silk fabrics, or delight in a delicious strong and sweet Thai iced coffee. Enjoy an evening immersed in Thai culture. This unique cultural experience features a Thai dance show and a savory dinner of Thai cuisine. Centuries-old Eastern and Western influences created Thai food, which is often a harmonious blend of textures, tastes and herbal flavors. You may experience a mélange of salty, spicy, sweet and sour on your palate before completing your meal with Thai dessert. Following dinner, delight in viewing the intricate colors and detail of traditional Thai costumes while watching a Thai dance performance in a beautiful pavilion. Available at an additional cost.
Cruise along the Chao Phraya River toward Nonthaburi. Along the way, take in scenes of local life on Thailand’s waterways. You may see temples, bustling markets, and shops along the banks. Visit the Dhevaraj Kuchon Temple’s Golden Teak Museum, which boasts an array of fiberglass models and relics. Back on the boat, enjoy a delicious lunch before disembarking at Wat Chong Lom in Nonthaburi. Visit the European-style Bang Pa-In Palace, a summer residence for the kings of Thailand. The property has ornamental ponds, an elegant Thai-style pavilion, and a Thai Buddhist temple that resembles a Gothic church. Continue to the World Heritage site of Ayutthaya, Thailand’s ancient capital from 1350-1767. As you stroll the grounds, you may see massive brick ruins, lion guardian statues, seated Buddha figures and many other amazing artifacts. Return to Bangkok via motor coach and enjoy an evening at leisure.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
After breakfast, fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Upon arrival, transfer to the Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort. Take some time to unpack and explore your hotel’s amenities before joining your group for lunch. Discover this quaint provincial capital as you tour Siem Reap in a tuk tuk. The city offers a bounty of well-preserved colonial buildings, small cafes, souvenir shops, art galleries, and more. After your tour, visit an arts and dance center to see demonstrations of local talent. In preparation for your visit, join a local expert to learn about the spectacular temples and ruins at Angkor, a World Heritage site. A suburb of Siem Reap, Angkor is one of the most culturally significant places in Cambodia. The planning and construction of these grand temples indicate the engineering prowess of the ancient Khmer Empire. The temples are a showcase of water features, including canals, dams, reservoirs, and an irrigation system that served the entire region. In addition, the Angkor period also fostered the rise of Khmer art.
Discover breathtaking Angkor Wat. Built in the 12th century, it is the largest temple in the world and the crown jewel of the Angkor Archaeological Park. Angkor Wat is the grandest of the temples that sit within the 155-square-mile park. Originally dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, the temple eventually became filled with Buddhist elements as the new religion spread through the empire. See the extensive gallery of bas-relief murals, one of the highlights of the temple. Uncover a culinary tradition as a local family invites you into their home to show you how to make rice noodles, a local specialty. You may enjoy visiting Phsar Chas, the Old Market, which offers a bizarre collection of meats, dried fruits and checkered scarves as well as a selected of spices and other interesting wares. Take a stroll through the heart of Siem Reap and dig in to Phnom Pleung, a Cambodian BBQ where you can cook the meat yourself on a small burner on your table. Enjoy an energetic Cambodian show with a blend of dance, music, acrobatics and juggling combined with enlightening stories of Khmer culture.
Explore Angkor Thom, a great walled city that once was home to 1 million people. Built in the late 12th century, Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Khmer Empire, which ended in the mid-15th century. The Bayon is the imposing temple in the center of the city. Its 54 towers feature carvings of more than 200 smiling faces. The bas-reliefs of epic battles are among the must-sees. Explore the haunting temples of Ta Prohm, where roots of massive kapok trees have overtaken the buildings. Built by the same king who directed the construction of Angkor Thom, this Buddhist monastery once was a powerful religious center serving 80,000 people. After centuries of human neglect, the jungle has claimed the temples, courtyards and paths. Continue to Thommanon, a recently restored temple with exquisite Apsara carvings. Make your own schedule on your final afternoon at leisure in Siem Reap. Tonight, gather for a Farewell Dinner, and delight in a lively event featuring Khmer classical dance and music.
Depart for gateway city
After breakfast, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for Angkor International Airport for your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details. Some passengers will arrive in North America today. Others will arrive tomorrow depending you their individual flight itineraries.