These two Southeast Asian gems are both fantastic destinations in their own right, but they would also make for an inspiring multi-centre holiday – you could even throw in a trip back to Vietnam, if you really can’t stay away.
To give you a taste of just what these two nations offer, we’ve put together a list of some of their best landmarks and sights.
Cambodia is still relatively untouched by the Southeast Asian travel influx. In fact, just over four million international travellers visited during 2013. In that time, Thailand welcomed 26 million and Vietnam saw 7.5 million enter its borders.
This means a trip to Cambodia can still be ‘off the beaten track’; an experience that becoming increasingly difficult to find given the ease with which people can now travel.
Located in the Siem Reap province of the country, the massive network of temples known as Angkor Wat is a must for anyone visiting Cambodia.
Thought to be the largest religious monument in the world, the sheer vastness of this mysterious complex will leave you in a state of peaceful awe as you traipse your way through its streets.
As one of the most popular destinations for tourists in the country, you are likely to come into contact with throngs of other tourists, however, it’s more than worth it for the numinous experience you are likely to have here.
Cambodia’s capital is an intriguing stop in its own right as well as being the perfect jumping-off point for Siem Reap. Phnom Penh is a place of wide streets, lush parks, and traditional open storefronts, all teeming with character and friendly locals going about their days.
A must-see is the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda which you can find on the southern riverfront of the Tonle Sap River. These pristine buildings are marvellous examples of traditional Cambodian architecture and the latter contains a stunning collection of Buddha statues.
The streets of Phnom Penh are a fantastic place to sample some Khmer cooking as vendors line the alleyways selling their cuisine with typical Southeast Asian gusto.
Once the epicentre of over-the-top river parties and tubing excursions, Laos had the reputation of a party palace where only hedonistic young backpackers would be interested in going.
However, things have changed and Laos is now in the process of showing the world that it has more to offer than a raucous party scene (incidentally, many of the tubing operators have now closed down for safety reasons).
A cruise down the Mekong River
A voyage down this serene waterway is one of the best ways to unlock the quaint beauty of Laos and a cruise should be high up on your list of things to do.
Rugged mountains, dense jungles and areas that look as if they are still waiting to be discovered by the human race are just a few highlights you can expect while sailing down the Mekong.
The river is the lifeblood of Laos and you will see this up close as you traverse its waters. The riverside villages are a wonderful place to see this country’s culture and immerse yourself within it. You also get to sample fresh fish, cooked to Laotian perfection and witness some of the most remarkable sunsets on the planet.
Vast, open and beautiful; the Phongsali region of Laos is an intrepid traveller’s dream. This remote part of the country is known for its trekking routes, which are spread out across the rugged countryside like arteries.
This is a place to isolate yourself from the rest of the tourist track and just soak up the culture of a country so different to that of the UK.
See the locals work the deltas for produce, relax in an authentic noodle bar and just take in Laos in all its simple glory.
For more information about your ideal trip to Laos and Cambodia, talk to our experts today.