Friday. Welcome to Thailand!. Included transfer to your hotel in the pulsating capital of Bangkok. Evening Welcome Meeting held.
The next day we embark on a city tour beginning with the impressive Grand Palace housing the Jade Buddha. We continue to Wat Pho, the original Thai Massage School and the 24hr Flower Market. Afterwards we board longtail boats for a trip along the city’s canals gliding past stitled houses, pretty temples and locals going about their daily business. We disembark a short walk away from backpackers’ favourite haunt – Khao San Road, where cafes, bars, buskers, tailors and market stalls line the virbant streets.
Overnight: Bangkok | Breakfast x 1
Bangkok - Chiang Mai. Today we transfer to the airport for our flight to Chiang Mai, blessed with a temperate climate and lush vegetation. After time to freshen up we set off for Doi Suthep temple and the Hilltribe Museum. Later this evening our trip to the night market offers the chance to sample many delicious regional dishes.
Overnight: Chiang Mai | Breakfast
Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai - Chiang Khong. Today we set out for Chiang Rai, passing through spectacular mountain scenery and hill tribe markets along the way. We make a stop at the unconventional White Temple, known locally as Wat Rhon Khung, which displays scenes from modern day movies. We then visit a hill tribe community site where you have the chance to learn more about how five of the most prominent tribes in the area live, including their traditional costumes and homes. We continue our journey to the Thailand’s ‘Golden Triangle’ for a trip to the Opium Museum. We then follow the Mekong River to Chiang Khong - our base for the night before crossing the border into Laos tomorrow morning.
Overnight: Chiang Khong | Breakfast
Journey into Laos
Tuesday. Chiang Khong - Pakbeng. Bright and early we head to the immigration & customs office to exit Thailand. Bidding farewell to our Thai guide we cross the river by longtail boat. Meeting up with our Lao guide we attend to immigration formalities before we're back on the water, cruising by traditional long boat down the Mekong River. Serene and timeless Laos is often overlooked by travellers. A peaceful nation of people offering legendary hospitality, resilience and friendliness, Laos is old Asia preserved. As we travel downstream we stop off at a number of minority villages such as the Hmong, Yao and Khmu to get an understanding of their culture and way of life. Upon arrival in Pakbeng, we visit the local market to watch the colourful hill tribe trade their wares before retiring for the night.
Overnight: Pakbeng | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Pakbeng - Luang Prabang. We continue our cruise arriving to the golden city of Laung Prabang mid afternoon. Tomorrow, opt for an early start early to see the daily ritual of saffron-clad monks and their procession down the streets of Luang Prabang collecting alms from the residents. Then a morning tour, takes in the highlights of Luang Prapang - the fabulous UNESCO Listed former royal capital. Sightseeing includes the ancient temples of Wat Visoun and Wat Aham, Ock Pop Tok weaving centre and the beautifully ornate former Royal Palace. In the afternoon we stop at ethnic minority villages before arriving at the beautiful Khouangsi waterfall.
Overnight: Luang Prabang | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 1
Pak Ou Caves
This morning we head out of town to a local farm to learn about the production of rice. After lunch we cruise up the Mekong River to visit the incredible Pak Ou caves crammed with Buddha images of all shapes and sizes, stopping Ban Xanghai village en route to sample local rice wine. Later we return to Luang Prabang stopping along the way at Ban Phanom village - known for its hand weaving, before boarding our last night in Luang Prabang.
Overnight: Luang Prabang | Breakfast, Lunch
Saturday. Today marks the end of our holiday. Lap up the hotel facilities this morning before hotel check out and included departure transfer to the airport.
Prices & Dates
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
Royal Benja Hotel, Bangkok
The Royal Benja Hotel provides homely accommodation in the heart of Bangkok city with a large outdoor pool to enjoy after a long, hot day sightseeing. Benjamas Restaurant serves a wide selection of local and international cuisine whilst drinks and live music are offered at the Buddy Pub.
Raming Lodge, Chiang Mai
Just a stone's throw from the bustling night bazaar, the elegant Raming Lodge is the perfect place to unwind after a day exploring the city. The spacious rooms are decorated with clear eastern influences and encompass beautiful wooden furniture, complimenting the rich fabrics that add a splash of colour to the room. Massages and other treatments are available at the spa and the pool is a great place to relax during your leisure time. A full breakfast is served in the morning and further food can be found in the hotel's gourmet burger restaurant.
Teak Garden Hotel, Chiang Khong
On the banks of the Mekong River, the Chaing Khong Teak House offers comfortable accommodation. Guest rooms are spacious with comfortable facilities and private balconies. Complimentary wi-fi is available throughout and the onsite restaurant offers a selection of cuisine in an al fresco setting right on the river. If staying here in the winter be sure to ask for an extra blanket or too – it can get quite nippy! Well located in Chiang Khong just a 5 minute drive to the border with the Laos.
Santi Resort and Spa, Luang Prabang
Set just outside the main town of Luang Prabang, the Santi Resort and Spa is a modern property set in manicured gardens. Guest rooms are set on two levels and are spacious with excellent amenities. Meals are served in the main restaurant and the outdoor pool is perfect for a cooling afternoon dip. If you need to get into town then take advantage of the free shuttle service that runs nearly every hour. Located on the outskirts of Luang Prabang.
Tipping is not a natural part of many Western cultures and many of us feel uncomfortable, or unsure, about when, or how much, to tip. However, in Thailand, tipping makes up a significant part of many people's wages so it's important that we get it right. For this reason we've developed a very simple system to take all the hassle out of tipping. With our 'tipping made easy' policy, a nominal pre-determined amount is collected from all group tour participants to cover tips en route. This then saves you the hassle of when and how much to tip bellhops, luggage handlers, local guides and other support staff through the tour. Our 'tipping made easy' doesn't include a tip to your group tour leader. Naturally, though, the amount is up to you as tipping is an entirely personal gesture.
Was a great tour. Excellent site seeing in Thailand and stayed in some wonderful hotels. The rooftop pool in Bangkok offers some amazing views of the city. The boat to Laos was spacious and relaxing with excellent food served by the family on board. Especially liked the hotel we stayed at in Pakbeng and seeing the elephants in the morning!”