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Road Scholar World Academy Segment 4: The Philippines, Borneo, Cambodia & Thailand

Program Number: 21085RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/16/2014 - 3/6/2014;
Duration: 18 nights
Location: Philippines/Malaysia/Brunei/Cambodia/Thailand
Price starting at: $3,996.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises
Meals: 47; 16 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches, 17 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Experience Road Scholar World Academy 2014 on this segment of the voyage exploring the Philippines, Borneo, Cambodia and Thailand.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day. Uneven terrain and stone stairs without railings will be common. Conditions can be hot and humid.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Manila (Philippines), 1 night; aboard Voyager, 11 nights; Phnom Penh (Cambodia), 1 night; Siem Reap, 2 nights; Bangkok (Thailand), 2 nights.



Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.


Days 2-4: Arrival Manila (Philippines) / embark Voyager:

Begin your voyage in Manila, capital of the Philippines, where you explore the old walled Spanish city and learn about the World War II history of Corregidor.



Days 5-6: At Sea / Cebu:

Learn about the Spanish colonial history of Cebu at Fort San Pedro and the Casa Gorordo Museum.



Days 7-8: At Sea / Sandakan (Malaysia):

Voyage to Borneo, a large island split among three countries. Take a field trip to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, where once-captive apes are prepared to return to the wild.



Days 9-10: At Sea / Kota Kinabalu:

Discover the East Malaysian city of Kota Kinabalu and view tribal artifacts at the Sabah Museum.



Day 11: Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei):

Learn about the small, wealthy nation of Brunei and visit the magnificent Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque.



Days 12-16: At Sea / Sihanoukville (Cambodia) / disembark / coach to Phnom Penh / flight to Siem Reap:

A northwesterly course brings the ship into the Gulf of Thailand. Disembark for five nights ashore in Cambodia and Thailand. Learn about Cambodia’s turbulent history and recovery after the reign of the Khmer Rouge. Fly to Siem Reap to explore the amazing temples of Angkor Wat. Lodging: Phnom Penh: Four-star hotel in upscale neighborhood. Siem Reap: Stylish four-star hotel.



Days 17-19: Flight to Bangkok (Thailand) / departure:

Discover iconic landmarks of Bangkok including the Grand Palace and the Wat Pho temple. Lodging: Luxurious boutique hotel.



Voyager

Sail aboard the 540-guest Voyager, Voyages of Discovery’s newest flagship. Newly upgraded in 2012, Voyager boasts all the amenities and facilities of a large ocean liner while offering the convenience, flexibility, and intimate ambience of a small ship. It features spacious public areas, comfortable staterooms and balcony suites, a choice of open seating restaurants and al fresco dining, a variety of lounges and bars including the elegant Scott’s Lounge, a library and internet center, a swimming pool, two whirlpools, a beauty center and a gym. Voyager is your home at sea and you will be welcomed back warmly each time you return to the ship.


Meals and Lodgings
   Diamond Hotel
  Manila, Philippines 1 night
   MV Voyager
  Aboard the MV Voyager, USA 11 nights
   Sunway Hotel
  Phnom Penh, Cambodia 1 night
   Tara Angkor Hotel
  Siem Reap, Cambodia 2 nights
   Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside Hotel Bangkok
  Bangkok, Thailand, Thailand 2 nights
 Diamond Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: Set against the magnificent golden sunset of exceptional beauty is Diamond Hotel Philippines. Located along the scenic Manila Bay area, Diamond Hotel is only minutes away from the international and domestic airports, and the Makati business district. Also within the vicinity are Manila's famous historical landmarks, cultural and convention centers, shopping malls, and Malate's spectacular night life. Guests are guaranteed of a wonderful experience of luxury, comfort, and impeccable service in every visit to Diamond Hotel.
  Contact info: Roxas Boulevard cor. Dr. J. Quintos St.,
Manila,  1000 Philippines
phone: (+632) 528-3000
web: www.diamondhotel.com/
  Room amenities: Free selected items in the mini bar, Free internet access in all guest rooms for the first three (3) hours, Free wireless internet access in public areas for three (3) hours, Free use of swimming pool and outdoor whirlpool.
  Facility amenities: Outdoor Pool, SPA, Tennis Court, several dining rooms, meeting space and gym.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBA Please contact RS Travel Services.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 MV Voyager
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: Voyager, built by Spanish yard Union Navale le LeVante, is a spacious and well-appointed vessel offering 278 cabins, 86% of which are outside, 35 suites, 30 of which have balconies, open seating dining in three restaurants and the personal service and comfort levels that have been the hallmark of our cruises since 2003. Carrying just 550 passengers, Voyager has all the amenities and facilities of a larger liner while offering the convenience and flexibility of a small ship. She is able to visit and berth alongside where others have to pass by, yet is able to traverse the world's oceans with ease. On board, passengers will be able to relax in the comfortable public lounges, enjoy a drink in atmospheric Harry's Bar, in the sunshine on deck, at the Lido Bar. Alternatively, read a book in the well-stocked library.
  Ship Information: Owner / Operator: All Leisure Group Year Built: 1990 Builder: Union Navale de LeVante, Spain Former Names: Crown Monarch, Walrus, Jules Verne, Alexander von Humboldt Gross Tonnage: 15,271 Length: 152.5 meters (500.2 ft) Beam: 20.6 meters (67.6 ft) Passengers: 550 Crew: 215 Service Speed: 18.0 knots
  Contact info: Voyages of Discovery - North America
1800 S E 10th Avenue, Suite 205
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 USA
phone: 866-623-2689
web: www.voyagesofdiscovery.com
  Facility amenities: Three restaurants with option for open dining Al-fresco dining (Veranda) Third restaurant within Discovery Restaurant (Explorer Grill) Two lounges - Atlantic Lounge and Vista Lounge Four bars (Vista Lounge, Harry's Bar, Pacific Lounge, Lido Bar) Card/Function room Medical Centre Internet Centre Two Shops Swimming pool Two whirlpools Beauty Centre Gym
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Sunway Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located next to Mount Phnom and across the street from the new U.S. Embassy, the hotel is within walking distance of all of Phnom Penh’s attractions and shops.
  Contact info: #1, Street 92, Sangkat Wat Phnom
P.O. Box 633
Phnom Penh,  12202 Cambodia
phone: +855 23 430 333
web: http://phnompenh.sunwayhotels.com/
  Room amenities: Hair dryer, air-conditioning and safety-deposit box.
  Facility amenities: Lounge, restaurant and sundeck.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Tara Angkor Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Tara Angkor is equipped with modern amenities and elegantly furnished to make your stay luxurious and enjoyable. With exceptionally warm hospitality and traditional Cambodian sincerity and kindness your stay will be something not to be forgotten.
  Contact info: Vithei Charles de Gaulle
Siem Reap,   Cambodia
phone: (+855) 63 966 661
web: www.taraangkorhotel.com/facility.php
  Facility amenities: The Tara Angkor Hotel's stylish 4 star property has cemented its status as one of the jewels in Siem Reap’s accommodation sector. Our facilities include 213 magnificent rooms and suites, two restaurants, a lobby bar, and a swimming pool with jacuzzi, fitness center and sauna.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside Hotel Bangkok
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: 40 minutes by road from Suvannabhumi International airport. River transportation from the hotel's pier to Grand Palace, Wat Arun Temple etc. as well as connections to shopping centers and other hotels along the river is available.
  Contact info: Charoenkrung Rd., Bangkorlaem
Bankok,  10120 Thailand
phone: +6626881000
  Room amenities: Room Facilities: air conditioning, internet access (wireless), bathrobes, coffee/tea maker, complimentary bottled water, mini bar, daily newspaper, non smoking rooms, desk, satellite/cable TV, hair dryer, separate shower and tub, in room safe, television
  Facility amenities: 525 guest rooms: Deluxe, Grand Deluxe, Plaza Suite and Royal Thai Suite Outdoor Swimming Pool • with Jacuzzi • Fitness & Health Club • Steam Room • Aerobic • Traditional Thai Massage • 24 Hours Room Service • 24 hours Doctor Service on call • Airport Transfers • Wheel Chairs • Tailor Shop • Baby-sitting • Beauty Salon • Business Center • Car Rental / Limousine Service • Concierge & Luggage Storage • Conference Facilities • Foreign Exchange Counter • Free Shuttle Boat Service from Hotel Pier to/from Sky Train Station • Tour Counter
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: x x


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Day 2 in the evening at the program hotel in Manila. You will be staying at Diamond Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Day 19 in the morning after breakfast at the program hotel in Bangkok. You will be staying at Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside Hotel Bangkok the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. **IMPORTANT: REGISTERING FOR YOUR CRUISE ONLINE** Voyages of Discovery requires all guests to provide full passport details, including address and telephone number. They also require next of kin contact information in case of an emergency. This information must be received no later than 60 days prior to departure. Passengers must visit the website at www.voyagesofdiscovery.com - click on “Already Booked” then “Required Passenger Information” to enter your details. Furnished data will be provided to foreign government immigration officials and is required for on-board administration. PLEASE NOTE: Your cruise documents will not be issued prior to your online registration, and embarkation onto the ship may be denied. If you need assistance registering online, please contact our program department at 1.866.359.5966 and someone will assist you.
  Parking availability:
Driving is not recommended for this program.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Manila
  Transportation to site: The group arrival flight is NH 0949, arrives MNL 9:30PM 17 February, 2014. They will be met at the airport by a representative holding a Road Scholar sign and will be transferred to the hotel.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Bangkok, Thailand
  Transportation from site: The group departure flight is UA 0838, departs BKK 7:10AM 06 March, 2014. They will transferred to the airport early in the morning.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Depart for overnight flight to Manila, Philippines.
(Sunday, February 16)
   
 Depart From: Depart from home for overnight flight toTokyo, Japan.

Day 2: Late Afternoon Arrival to Manila
(Monday, February 17)
   
 Arrive To: Late afternoon arrival to Narita International Airport. Transfer to the program hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Diamond Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Manila, Philippines / Corregidor
(Tuesday, February 18)

Note: You will be joining a group that has been travelling together on this program for the past 2 months. Your group leader will hold a cocktail party for you and the other group so that you can integrate and get to know each other.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Explore Corregidor is known in the world for its role in war, bravery, and history; it's strategic location was vital in the defense of Manila during World War II. It was from Corregidor that General Douglas MacArthur left for Australia.
 Lunch: Lunch on Corregidor Island.
 Afternoon: Continue your exploration of Corregidor. Afterwards return to the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Manila Discovery
(Wednesday, February 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Visit Rizal park and Intramuros (the old spanish walled city, with SanAugustin church, Manila cathedral, Fort Santiago and Rizal museum). Continue to Makati, a WW2 American cemetery, for a wreath laying ceremony.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own or on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Explore Manila on your own.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: At Sea / Presentation
(Thursday, February 20)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Participate in a presentation by your on board lecturer. Theme 4, Presentation #1: Lands of the South China Sea: A Chronicle of History and Modern Times.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Participate in a presentation by your on board lecturer. Theme 4, Presentation #2: Lands of the South China Sea: A Chronicle of History and Modern Times.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Cebu, Philippines
(Friday, February 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Explore Cebu with visits to Fort San Pedro, Casa Gorordo, Sto Nino Shrine, Magellan’s Cross, Taoist Temple and the Heritage Monument.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or on shore.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon for you to explore Cebu on your own.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: At Sea / Presentation
(Saturday, February 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Participate in a presentation by your on board lecturer. Theme 4, Presentation #3: Lands of the South China Sea: A Chronicle of History and Modern Times.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Participate in a presentation by your on board lecturer. Theme 4, Presentation #4: Lands of the South China Sea: A Chronicle of History and Modern Times.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Sandakan, Borneo Malaysia
(Sunday, February 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Transfer to Sepilok Orangutan Center. The Center helps once captive orangutans learn to climb and fend for themselves in the wild with the hope that one day they may return to the forest. Witness the semi-wild orangutans return to the platform provided by the Center for milk and bananas during the process of returning to the forest. Walk along a jungle trail and observe the tropical lowland rainforest. Numerous wildlife may be seen.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Free time this afternoon to explore Sandakan on your own.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: At Sea / Presentation
(Monday, February 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Participate in a presentation by your on board lecturer. Theme 4, Presentation #5: Lands of the South China Sea: A Chronicle of History and Modern Times.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Time to enjoy the ship's amenities.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Kota Kinabalu, Borneo Malaysia
(Tuesday, February 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Explore Kota Kinabalu, Capital of Sabah. Stop at Signal Hill to get a lay out of the city and Atkinson Clock Tower the only remaining colonial period structure not destroyed by the allied bombings. End your visit with a stop at the Sabah Museum to look at their large collection of Tribal artifacts.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore Kota Kinabalu on your own.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Muara (Bandar Seri Begawan), Brunei
(Wednesday, February 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: This morning, discovery Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, the largest in the Far East, and considered among the most beautiful in the world. It reaches a height of 52 meters and is topped with a gold dome supported by walls of Italian marble, which also forms the mosque’s columns, arches, and towers. Continue on to the Royal Regalia museum near the city centre, which has elaborate displays of gifts received by the Sultan. Then take a guided visit of the Brunei Museum on the Kota Batu road which has an excellent display in the Islamic Art Gallery.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Free time in the afternoon to explore Bandar Seri Begawan.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: At Sea / Presentation
(Thursday, February 27)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Participate in a presentation by your on board lecturer. Theme 4, Presentation #6: Lands of the South China Sea: A Chronicle of History and Modern Times.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Time to enjoy the ship's amenities
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: At Sea / Presentation
(Friday, February 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Participate in a presentation by your on board lecturer. Theme 4, Presentation #7: Lands of the South China Sea: A Chronicle of History and Modern Times.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Time to enjoy the ship's amenities
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Sihanoukville, Cambodia / disembark ship / Coach to Phnom Penh
(Saturday, March 1)

Note: Transfer time is about 4 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Join in a village welcome ceremony as you enter Cambodia. This traditional welcome ceremony is a great introduction to the Cambodia people and culture.
 Lunch: Lunch at the village.
 Afternoon: Transfer to the Killing Fields and learn about the recent tragedy that destroyed the fabric of life in Cambodia. Continue to Tuol Sleng the interrogation center and learn about the recent Khmer History, but at the same time, see how the people are moving beyond this tragedy.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Sunway Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Phnom Penh Discovery / Fly to Siem Reap / Explore Ta Phrom
(Sunday, March 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Known once as the “Paris of the East,” discover the charming capital city of Phnom Penh. First visit the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda and finish the afternoon at the National Museum. The National Museum in Phnom Penh is the most significant public repository of Khmer artifacts in the country, displaying many important Angkorian artifacts and rare pieces from later periods.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Transfer to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Tara Angkor Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Siem Reap / Sunrise at Angkor Wat / Angkor Thom
(Monday, March 3)
   
 Breakfast: Depart for an early morning visit to Angkor Wat to experience the sun rising over this magnificent architectural structure. Then return to your hotel for breakfast.
 Morning: This morning, discover the ancient city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. This city is surrounded by an 8 m high wall, drawing a perfect square. Enter the city through the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and four giant faces. Contineu to Bayon Temple in the exact center of the city. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur and is well-known for its 54 towers with enigmatic faces representing the 54 provinces of the Great Khmer Empire. Continue to the “gem” of the Angkor area, the pretty temple of Banteay Srey, which is best viewed in the warm morning light. The so-called “Citadel of the Women” remains the best preserved temple in Cambodia. It displays some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art as this small temple is noted for its truly remarkable fine bas-reliefs. Banteay Srey is unique in that it is constructed of pink sandstone, which is seen nowhere else in Angkor.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Explore the magnificent Angkor Wat. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat is constructed following the model of the temple mountain symbolizing Mount Meru, the home of the gods. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with stone carvings and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and the wars Suryavarman II fought during his reign. Angkor Wat is well known for the more than 2,000 Apsara dancers decorating the temple. Construction is thought to have taken around thirty years of intensive labor. Today, Angkor Wat is figured on Cambodia's national flag as the temple symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people. View Angkor Wat at sun set when the temple is less visited and the Apsaras will shine in the most beautiful light.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Tara Angkor Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Siem Reap / Fly to Bangkok / Bangkok Discovery
(Tuesday, March 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning, explore the highlights of the Small Circuit. Start your tour with a visit to Ta Prohm temple, built in the mid 12th to early 13th centuries. Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found: overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground. This makes Ta Prohm one of the most picturesque and memorable of the Angkor temples. Remainder of the morrning free for you to explore Siem Reap or more of the temples before your flight to Bangkok.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Tranfer to the airport for your flight to Bangkok and transfer to your hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant that overlooks Rama Bridge.
   
Accommodations: Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside Hotel Bangkok
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 18: Bangkok / Klong Discovery
(Wednesday, March 5)

Note: You will be require to get off and on small boats.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Discover the icons of Bangkok with a visit to the Grand Palace. Join an exhilarating long tail boat ride through the klongs (canals) of Bangkok to Nonthaburi in the far north of the city, where the cityscape turns into countryside and the skyscrapers give way to teak houses, noodle shops, fruit orchards and rice fields.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Free time this afternoon to explore Bangkok on your own.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside Hotel Bangkok
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 19: Departure
(Thursday, March 6)
   
 Depart From: Early morning departure from your hotel for the airport for your flight home.

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Siem Reap Akira's Land Mine Museum
During the Khmer Rouge period, Akira's parents were killed by the Khmer Rouge and he was raised by them. Later, he worked for the Vietnamese army and the U.N. force. Now he is removing land mines. The museum houses a huge volume of the land mines removed by him, unexploded bomb shells and photos. Volunteers who lost arms or legs guide you around this museum. TEL: 012-598951. Free.
  Tonle Sap
The Tonle Sap is the largest fresh-water lake in Southeast Asia. Its size changes five-fold from dry season to the end of the rainy season. The lake is home to a number of floating villages; half-day tours can be arranged through the hotel.
  Bangkok, Thailand A Stroll Through Chinatown
One of the best ways to experience the true flavor of a city is to walk its streets. Discover Bangkok’s Chinatown, one of the most densely populated, richly ethnic neighborhoods in the city. Walk at your own pace through narrow lanes, peer into the doorways of apothecary shops with their medical herbs and natural cures. Take the opportunity to watch fresh Chinese delicacies being prepared and served while the aromatic fragrance of spice and herbs saturates the air. Pay special attention to the “funeral shops,” where they sell paper models of worldly items that ensure the deceased will have the complete comforts of home on the journey to the afterward. Wonder at the intricate architecture of ancient Chinese Temples, perhaps even donating some coins to the temple “burial society,” a charity devoted to recovering the bodies of unfortunate road accident victims.
  Suan Pakkad Palace
Suan Pakkad was built by Prince and Princess Chumbhot of Nakhon Sawan, who moved five traditional Thai houses from Chiang Mai in 1952. The cabbage garden was turned into one of Bangkok’s finest landscaped gardens and is calm in a uniquely Eastern way. The princess was one of the country’s most dedicated art collectors, and the house has been turned into a museum displaying objects such as perfume bottles, betel nut boxes and musical instruments. Antiques including an exquisite Buddha head from Ayutthaya, Khmer statues and European prints of old Siam. Located Prayatahi Road.
  Vimanmek Palace
The Palace is a magnificent, golden, teakwood residence of King Chulalongkorn that houses numerous exhibits, including antiques furniture, glassware, porcelain and many other items of historic interest. Located on Ratchavithee Road.
  Wat Pho
The temple was originally built in the 16th century and covers twenty acres. One of its pavilions houses a 150-feet long reclining Buddha. Wat Pho is also home to Thailand’s most famous school of massage. (See listing). Respectful dress required: Shorts, flipflops and bare shoulders are not permitted inside the temple complex and you should be prepared to take off shoes to enter temples. Open daily 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Admission fee of 20 baht. For additional information, visit www.watpho.com
  Wat Pho Thai Traditional Massage School
In the eastern end of the Wat Pho complex is the country’s most famous school of massage. Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is a good idea to start your exploration of Wat Pho here before the line becomes too long. A 60-minute, full body massage costs approximately 300 baht ($8 U.S.) and is done fully dressed. A set of cotton clothing is provided for the 60-minute herbal massage that costs 400 baht ($10 U.S.). For additional information, visit www.watpho.com
  Wat Phra Kaeo
Home of the Emerald Buddha and located within the grounds of the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew is the most sacred and the most beautiful of Thailand’s temples. Open daily 8 a.m.– 4 p.m. Admission 200 baht ($5 U.S.). The dress code is very strict: No shorts, no bare shoulders, no slippers or sandals. For additional information, visit thailandforvisitors.com/north/chiangrai/prakeo/index.html
  Phnom Penh Central Market
One of the largest and busiest markets in Phnom Penh, the market was built in 1937 by French architects. This market is a good place to purchase silk scarves, silverware, gems and antiques.
  National Library
Located near Wat Phnom, this graceful building, another example of French colonial architecture, was built in 1924 and set in floral gardens. It was sacked by the Khmer Rouge and turned into a stable.
  Russian Market (Psah Toul Tom Poung)
This popular market has a more varied selection of souvenirs, curios and silks than the Central Market. It also has a good selection of CDs, videos, fabric, electronic goods and the city's best source of objets d'art. Items for sale include wooden and stone carvings, various ritual objects, silverware, and old Indochinese notes and coins, antiquities, Cambodian and Chinese silk and clothing.
  Sisowath Quay
Sisowath Quay is an attractive boulevard running along the banks of the Mekong and Tonle Sap, fronted by a pleasant park. The built-up side of the street houses cafés and shops and the better class of bars, and is extremely popular with tourists and expatriate Westerners. The esplanade along the river is equally popular with Cambodians, who come here in the cool of the evening to enjoy the quasi-carnival atmosphere. It begins at the riverfront park opposite the Palace and is perhaps best experienced in the early evening.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Angkor Map


Author: Dawn Rooney


Description: A site plan and pocket guide to the city of Angkor at a scale of 1:40,000.



Angkor, Heart of an Asian Empire


Author: Bruno Dagens


Description: An excellent guide to the site, this shirt-pocket encyclopedia of discovery features hundreds of color photographs, illustrations and maps.



Art & Architecture of Cambodia


Author: Helen Ibbitson Jessup


Description: Jessup includes not just Angkor Wat and Banteay Srei but also lesser-known recent discoveries in the surrounding jungle in this illustrated overview in the World of Art series.



History of the Philippines, The Biography of a Country


Author: Luis Francia


Description: Spanning from the first colonial settlement in the 16th century to the present, this book provides an in-depth introduction tailored for the curious traveler.



Hot Sour Salty Sweet, A Culinary Journey Through Southeast Asia


Author: Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid


Description: From Salsas to Street Foods, Noodles to Desserts, dishes from different cuisines within Southeast Asia appear side by side in this magnificently illustrated cookbook and cultural guide to the mighty Mekong and the foods of the region from Southern China to Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.



Insight Guide Philippines


Author: Bill Williams (Editor)


Description: A volume in the award-winning Insight series, this guide is noted for its wonderful photography, superb production and informative short essays. It is a thoroughly illustrated, comprehensive guide to the history, culture and nature of the Philippines.



Letters from Thailand, A Novel


Author: Botan, Susan Fulop Kepner (Translator)


Description: A prize-winning novel, first published in 1969 and here newly translated into English. Taking the form of a series of letters back home to his mother, the novel follows the fate of Tan Suang U, a Chinese immigrant in Bangkok at the close of World War II, who marries, raises a family, and runs a successful business. The novel, among its many pleasures, depicts daily life in Bangkok's thriving Chinatown.



Lonely Planet Bangkok


Author: Andrew Burke


Description: This comprehensive, practical guide includes a good overview of history and attractions, dozens of color maps, and even a section on Thai language.



Phnom Penh, A Cultural History


Author: Milton Osborne


Description: As a one-time resident of Phnom Penh and an authority on Southeast Asia, Milton Osborne provides a colorful account of the troubled history and appealing culture of Cambodia's capital city.



Playing With Water: A Passion and Solitude on a Philippine Island


Author: James Hamilton-Paterson


Description: In this altogether wonderful memoir, Hamilton-Paterson writes with unusual warmth of his time among the villagers -- and under the water -- on a small Filipino island.



Southeast Asia Map


Author: Nelles


Description: A clear, double-sided map of all of Southeast Asia at a scale of 1:4,500,000.



Southeast Asia, A Concise History


Author: Mary Somers Heidhues


Description: A highly readable, illustrated history of Southeast Asia, covering politics, economics, society and culture. With 131 black-and-white illustrations and 11 maps.



Southeast Asia, An Introductory History


Author: Milton Osborne


Description: Osborne (The Mekong) traces social, political and economic change in the region since the 18th century in this standard text. 10th edition.



Temple of a Thousand Faces


Author: John Shors


Description: Cenetered on Prince Jayavar and his favorite wife Ajadevi, Shors sets his sixth novel amid the sprawling complex of temples at Angkat the height of Khmer power in 12th-century Cambodia. The title comes from Bayon, the temple in the heart of Angkor Thom, known for its intricately carved faces of the king..



The Malay Archipelago


Author: Alfred Russel Wallace


Description: A contemporary of Darwin, the great British naturalist describes his wanderings throughout Borneo, Java, Bali, Lombok, the Moluccas, New Guinea and remote islands from 1854 to 1862 in this classic of natural history and travel.



The Mekong, Turbulent Past, Uncertain Future


Author: Milton Osborne


Description: A cultural history of the great river from prehistory to European exploration, colonial tensions and modern challenges. It's an engaging introduction to the history of Southeast Asia.



Vanishing Treasures of the Philippine Rain Forest


Author: Jacinto Regalado, Jr., Lawrence Heaney


Description: A richly illustrated account of the diversity, wildlife and threats to the rain forest of the Philippines.



Wild Asia, Spirit of a Continent


Author: Mark Brazil, Art Wolfe (Photographer)


Description: Organized by bioregion, this lavishly illustrated survey covers plants, animals, habitats and landscapes from the Himalayas to India, Indonesia, Korea, Japan and the Russian Far East.



Wild Borneo, The Wildlife and Scenery of Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan


Author: Nick Garbutt, Cede Prudente, David Attenborough (Photographer)


Description: This beautiful oversized book of 250 color photographs and accompanying essays on Borneo's habitats, wildlife, history and conservation (including a chapter on the Heart of Borneo project), published in association with the World Wildlife Fund, is an excellent overview of the natural history of the island.





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