Days
18
Price from
FR3,810CHF

Thailand and Laos are home to some of the most beautiful countryside, scenery, temples and architecture in the world. Get up close and under the surface of what makes this country work. On the surface things may appear chaotic – particularly in Bangkok – but there’s a kind of quiet cohesion that makes everything click into place and keep moving along. Let yourself slip into this relaxed way of life and soak up the atmosphere as you boat along the Mekong River past riverside towns like Pakbeng and Pak Ou, and see magnificent temples in Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang. Learn about the fraught history on the Thai-Burma Railway and then enjoy the whimsy of French colonial architecture meshed with Buddhist temples in Vientiane. You’ll have plenty of time to explore, discover, taste and experience South-East Asia on this illuminating voyage.

TRIP CHANGES FOR 2016:
In response to traveller feedback about long back to back travel days, from 1st September 2016 this trip will spend 2 nights in Sukhothai. Some inclusions in Chiang Mai and Sukhothai may be in a different order than appear in our brochure, however all activities remain included.

TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017:
From 1st January 2017 this trip will become 1 day longer for a total of 19 days, with additional time in Chiang Mai and Sukhothai. The trip code was also change to be PATLC


Start
Bangkok, Thailand
Finish
Vientiane, Laos
Countries
Laos, Thailand
Style
Peregrine
Code
PATL
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Enjoy the sights and sounds of Bangkok’s buzzing, bustling streets

  • Pick up some new culinary skills, and taste delicious local dishes, while you learn all about Thai cuisine in a Chiang Mai cooking class

  • Experience the wonders of an ancient tribal culture with a visit to the Hmong Hilltribe Lodge

  • Support an important animal welfare initiative and make some new pachyderm pals at the Hospital of the Friends of the Asian Elephant

  • Enjoy life at a more relaxed pace, watching stunning scenery and remote village life from a peaceful cruise down the Mekong River

  • Explore temples in the laid-back jungle town of Luang Prabang

  • Soak up stunning colonial-era French architecture in Vientiane

Is this trip right for you?

  • Please bear in mind that you're travelling in a remote area of Laos, which is less developed than other southeast Asian countries. Please have an open mind and come with an adventurous spirit.

  • On Day 12 of the trip you will stay in the isolated village of Pakbeng. Conditions are basic but comfortable.

  • This trip includes a cycling tour around Sukhothai heritage Park, so a level of confidence on a bicycle will be required. That said, the roads are quiet with minimal traffic, and within the confines of the park it will be easy going.

  • You will visit a number of temples, which requires a level of modesty. You will need to bring clothes that cover the arms and pants or skirts that go past the knees. A light scarf is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot.

Itinerary

Welcome to Thailand. One of our transfer representatives will collect you from the airport and take you to your hotel. After settling into your room, your journey begins with an important meeting at 6 pm. Please check for a welcome notice on the Peregrine noticeboard located on the 2nd floor of the Royal Princess Larn Luang Hotel. Please advise your flight details at the time of booking so we can arrange your airport transfer. With free time, acquaint yourself with this frenetic city of tuk tuks, street food and traditional khlong boats winding down the Chao Phraya River. Tonight you'll enjoy a welcome dinner at the new training restaurant established by the Friends organisation.
Accommodation
  • Royal Princess Larn Luang Hotel or similiar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Thai Massage - THB250
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Enjoy a guided city walk of Bangkok, with an included visit to the Grand Palace – essential for any for first-time traveller here. You will also take a long-tail boat trip along the canals, a lovely way to witness daily Bangkok life. In the late afternoon, take a short flight (around 1 hour and 15 minutes) to Chiang Mai, Thailand's vibrant 'Rose of the North'. Awash with temples and quaint cafes, this city has a strong reputation for friendliness despite its size.
Visit the vibrant night markets tonight to pick up a bargain or have a bite to eat of fresh cooked street food.

Accommodation
  • Bodhi Serene Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bangkok - Khlong boat (canal) tour
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Thai Massage - THB250
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Embark on a scenic, winding drive up a mountain (around 45 minutes) to one of the country's most stunning temple complexes, Doi Suthep. A 300-step naga-guarded stairway leads you to the temples, and the climb is well worth the effort. The hypnotic atmosphere of chanting Buddhist monks and sweeping views of the city make this a most memorable experience. Follow this with some leisure time in Chiang Mai. Your leader can help you to arrange optional activities - you might like to hire a bike and ride to a nearby temple, or indulge in a Thai massage or spa treatment, or simply relax by the pool. Dinner this evening is an authentic Khantohk feast, replete with tribal dancing in the traditions of Akha, Yao, Lahu, H'mong, Lisu and Karen.
Accommodation
  • Bodhi Serene Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep temple
  • Chiang Mai - Khantohk dinner and cultural show
Optional Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Thai massage - THB200
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
You will have the opportunity to take part in a local cooking class today where you will uncover the secrets of aromatic Thai cuisine. You will learn everything from the most important ingredients and what to use in their place if you can’t access them at home, to preparing dishes from a comprehensive book of recipes (that you will be able to take with you). Sitting down to feast on the fruits of your labour at lunch is the perfect way to finish the class. This afternoon a drive of 1–2 hours through rolling countryside today leads to the Hmong Hilltribe Lodge, your quarters for the night. The Hmong are an ethnic minority in Thailand who originated in the south of China. Today they comprise the second largest hilltribe group in Thailand. After a barbeque dinner in the lodge's open-air dining area, the day concludes with a cultural performance by the Hmong people. You'll gain an insight into the traditional lifestyle of the tribe, with a wedding ceremony enactment, shamanic ritual and makong (cotton ball) throwing.
Accommodation
  • Hmong Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • H'mong Lodge meal and cultural show
  • Chiang Mai - Thai cooking class
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Depart the hilltribe village this morning and head on to Lampang (approximately 1.5 hours), which is considered by many to be one of Thailand's last remaining paradises. Here you will visit the Friends of Asian Elephant Hospital, a short drive from Lampang. This is the first elephant hospital in the world to be established to care for sick and abused elephants, with the aim of preserving the animals' natural habitat and lifestyle. You will learn more about this important initiative and perhaps become acquainted with some of its resident patients. Next is to farewell your new friends before driving to the ancient capital of Sukhothai (3.5 hours) to spend to the night.
Accommodation
  • Sukhothai Heritage Resort or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lampang - Friends of the Asian Elephant
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Sukhothai, established in the 13th century, was one of the first ancient capital of Siam. Famed for its World Heritage listed park, which captures the Golden Age of Thai civilisation, its name means 'Dawn of Happiness'. Today we visit the historical park, which spans the ruins of the town, you will rent a bicycle and begin a cycle tour. As you ride around, you'll learn more about the history of this former metropolis and its fascinating structures. Enjoy a home-cooked picnic lunch in the park and a free afternoon and evening.
Accommodation
  • Sukhothai Heritage Resort or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sukhothai - Historical Park Bike Tour & Picnic Lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Continue south now to Kanchanaburi (approximately 6 hours). The reward for your travels today is a lush tropical setting – a chalet right beside the famous River Kwai.
Accommodation
  • River Kwai Resortel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
On a day trip around Kanchanaburi, you will visit the Hellfire Pass Memorial. Here you will learn more about the allied prisoners of war and Asian conscripts that died while building the most dangerous and challenging sections of the Thai-Burma 'death' railway. To complete this experience, take a ride along the historic tracks of the railway. Beginning at the main terminal at Nam Tok, the journey takes you along scenic riverside tracks before crossing the original wooden viaduct, built by prisoners of war over the River Kwai.
Accommodation
  • River Kwai Resortel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kanchanaburi - The Kanchanaburi War Cemetary (POW Cemetary)
  • Kanchanaburi - Historical Train Journey
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Return to Bangkok today via private minivan (approximately 3 hours). There is no better way to finish the day than with a relaxing cruise along the grand Chao Phraya River. From this vantage you'll see yet another side of Bangkok, as the jewels of the city light up when evening falls. The cruise, along with dinner, is included.
Accommodation
  • Royal Princess Larn Luang Hotel or similiar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bangkok - Dinner cruise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Before meeting your new leader and group members at the pre-trip briefing tonight, your day in Bangkok is free. Perhaps uncover more of the Discover the golden stupas of some of Thailand’s most important Buddhist architecture, jump on an Urban Adventures tour or have a relaxing Thai massage. After the evening group meeting, maybe adjourn to a nearby restaurant and enjoy an optional meal together. The rest of the evening is free to enjoy a quiet drink or visit the bustling night markets of Bangkok.
Accommodation
  • Royal Princess Larn Luang Hotel or similiar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Tuk Tuk Experience Urban Adventure - THB1790
  • Bangkok - Temple & River of Kings Urban Adventure - THB2465
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today take the one-and-a-half-hour flight from Bangkok to Chiang Rai. This scenic town is a lot more relaxed than neighbouring Chiang Mai. Visit the privately owned Wat Rong Khun, more commonly known as the White Temple. This contemporary temple is constantly being added to and its strange design features references to Buddhist mythology, human sin and pop culture icons such as Michael Jackson, Harry Potter and Superman. In the evening visit the buzzing Chiang Rai night markets, where you can snack on delicious Thai cuisine or shop for souvenirs and handicrafts.
Accommodation
  • Imperial River House Resort or similiar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chiang Rai - Wat Rong Kun (White Temple)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today leave Chiang Rai before dawn to travel for around two hours to Chiang Khong. After crossing the border, take a shuttle bus across the Mekong River to Huay Xai, which is your first stop in Laos. Transfer to the pier and board a slow boat for the trip down the Mekong River. The pace is very relaxed - a perfect way to observe the scenery and local life up close. The private boat has toilets on board, comfortable seats, dining tables and plenty of room to stretch your legs. In the evening arrive into Pakbeng, a village situated at the junction of the Mekong and Beng rivers. Hmong and tribal Thai people are frequently seen on the main street, where vendors sell local textiles and handicrafts. Spend the night in a village lodge.

Please note due to the remote location of Pakbeng, the accommodation tonight is basic but still clean and comfortbale.
Accommodation
  • Pakbeng Lodge or similiar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today continue down the Mekong River in your private slow boat, gaining more insight into local rural life along the way. Stop in at Pak Ou, where the famous Tam Ting Cave is home to thousands of Buddha statues. Continuing on, pay a visit to Ban Sang Hai village where potent rice wine is made. Travel time down the river varies greatly with the water level, but if all goes to plan you should arrive into Luang Prabang by early evening. This sacred town, with its gleaming temple roofs, French architecture and mountainous backdrop, is claimed to be ‘the best preserved city in South East Asia’ by UNESCO.
Accommodation
  • Sada Hotel or similiar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Cave
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
In the morning, you may like to rise early to witness the daily procession of monks collecting alms from the villagers - a practice that dates back centuries. Following breakfast visit the town's major temples, including the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong. After the tour, walk around the local shops and find hand woven handicrafts. Next, visit the National Museum at the former Royal Palace, a building that combines French colonial and traditional Lao architecture. In the afternoon head south of town to the beautiful Kuang Si Falls. Back in Luang Prabang this evening, perhaps explore the popular night market or enjoy a traditional Laos massage. A late night in Luang Prabang isn't really an option, as the town observes a nightly curfew of 11.30 pm.
Accommodation
  • Sada Hotel or similiar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Luang Prabang - Wat Visounnalat
  • Luang Prabang - Wat Xieng Thong
  • Luang Prabang - Kuang Si Waterfalls
  • Luang Prabang - Royal Palace Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is a free day in Luang Prabang. There are many of optional activities to keep you busy. Perhaps try your hand at preparing some traditional Laotian food in a cooking class. You could visit the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre, a not-for-profit museum dedicated to promoting the diverse cultures and traditions of Laos' ethnic groups. Guided tours and seminars are available on request. If you feel like getting active, why not climb the 328 steps up Mount Phu Si in the centre of Luang Prabang's old town? The hill is crowned by a gilded stupa, That Chomsi, where you can enjoy spectacular views over the town and surrounding forest. Afterwards, you may like to wind down with a traditional Lao sauna and massage at the massage parlour opposite Wat Visounnarat.
Accommodation
  • Sada Hotel or similiar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Luang Prabang - Cooking class - LAK250000
  • Luang Prabang - Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre - USD2
  • Luang Prabang - Laos Red Cross sauna - LAK10000
  • Luang Prabang - Lao Red Cross massage - LAK40000
  • Luang Prabang - Mt Phu Si - USD2
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today take a 45-minute flight from Luang Prabang to Vientiane. On arrival into the capital, your leader will take you on a short orientation walk so you can get your bearings. The friendly city of Vientiane features a lot of French-inspired architecture and cuisine, so ask your leader where to find the best bakeries.
Accommodation
  • City Inn or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Vientiane - Leader orientation walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today embark on a tour around the major sights of Laos' capital. Visit the imposing Patuxai monument, which is Vientiane's version of the Arc de Triomphe. Call in at the oldest temple in the city, Wat Si Saket, and the former royal temple of Hor Phr Kaew. This previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha image before the Siamese took it in the late 18th century. Discover the golden stupa of Pha That Luang, which is an important Buddhist monument and the national symbol of Laos independence. Tonight enjoy an included dinner at the Makphet Restaurant in Vientiane. Peuan Mit runs the restaurant, which is an organisation that supports the needs of street children and young people in Laos.
Accommodation
  • City Inn or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Vientiane - Haw Pra Kaew
  • Vientiane - Pratu Xai
  • Vientiane - That Luang
  • Vientiane - Wat Sri Saket
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Your adventure ends after breakfast today. There are no activities scheduled so you're free to depart the accommodation at any time. A transfer to the airport is not included, however your tour leader will be able to advise you on the available options.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

17 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 6 dinners

Transport

Bicycle rickshaw, Boat, Plane, Private van, Sleeper train, Train

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel, Lodge

Included Activities

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Bangkok - Khlong boat (canal) tour
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace
  • Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep temple
  • Chiang Mai - Khantohk dinner and cultural show
  • H'mong Lodge meal and cultural show
  • Chiang Mai - Thai cooking class
  • Lampang - Friends of the Asian Elephant
  • Sukhothai - Historical Park Bike Tour & Picnic Lunch
  • Kanchanaburi - The Kanchanaburi War Cemetary (POW Cemetary)
  • Kanchanaburi - Historical Train Journey
  • Bangkok - Dinner cruise
  • Chiang Rai - Wat Rong Kun (White Temple)
  • Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Cave
  • Luang Prabang - Wat Visounnalat
  • Luang Prabang - Wat Xieng Thong
  • Luang Prabang - Kuang Si Waterfalls
  • Luang Prabang - Royal Palace Museum
  • Vientiane - Leader orientation walk
  • Vientiane - Haw Pra Kaew
  • Vientiane - Pratu Xai
  • Vientiane - That Luang
  • Vientiane - Wat Sri Saket

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Essential Trip Information

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