Days
19
Price from
€3,440EUR

Get up close and under the surface of Thailand and Laos

Thailand and Laos are home to some of the most beautiful countryside, scenery, temples and architecture in the world. 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.


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

Why we love this trip

  • Marvel at the best of Chiang Mai's stunning temples; ancient treasures as well as living community centres

  • With a visit to the Hmong Hilltribe Lodge, immerse yourself in the wonders of an ancient tribal culture without compromising on creature comforts

  • See Bangkok from a different, quieter angle, with a dinner cruise down the Chao Phraya River; the ultimate escape from the bustling streets

  • Support an important animal welfare initiative and get close to incredible creatures at the Hospital of the Friends of the Asian Elephant

  • Observing the stunning scenery and remote village life, while visiting a cave crowded with shrines is all done at a relaxed pace. Your private motorboat makes your slow trip down the Mekong River a peaceful experience

  • Unwind in the laid-back jungle town of Luang Prabang. Watch as orange-clad monks gather offerings of rice, fruit and sweets from locals before sunrise in a daily alms giving ceremony

  • Laos' evolving capital, Vientienne, is a great place to explore. The golden stupa of Pha That Luang, the symbol of Lao nationalism, is a particular highlight

  • Included flights on this trip make travelling easy and allows for maximum time in each destination

Is this trip right for you?

  • 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.

  • Thailand is a big country and there are some long drives on this trip. Many of these journeys, however, offer beautiful scenery and interesting snapshots of rural and mountain life.

  • 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 the third night of the trip, you'll be staying in the isolated village of Pakbeng. The lodge we stay at is of a lower standard than our usual Peregrine Hotels but still clean and comfortable.

  • 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 the Peregrine noticeboard in the reception area of the 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 a great local restaurant.
Accommodation
  • Rembrandt Hotel or similiar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB150
  • 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.

Please see important information in the "packing"' section of the trip notes regarding strict dress code for the Grand Palace visit.
Accommodation
  • Bodhi Serene Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bangkok - Khlong boat (canal) tour
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Start the morning with a visit to a local market to pick up an offering to take to Wat Suan Dok Monastic temple. This temple not only has one of the oldest stupa built in 1371 but also has the most beautiful cemetery for family members of the King of Chiang Mai. At the same location you will find Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University - a specific University for Buddhist Monks. Here you have a very unique opportunity to chat with some monks and learn the basics of Buddhism and you can ask them more about their schooling and lifestyle. This is a great opportunity for the monks to also practise their English and becomes a learning opportunity for everyone involved. if your lucky you may also hear some Buddhist monks chanting. Next stop, 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 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 or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep temple
  • Chiang Mai - Khantohk dinner and cultural show
  • Chiang Mai - Buddist offering and Monk chat
  • Chiang Mai - Wat Suan Dok
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. In the evening you might want to continue today’s food theme with a wander through the enormous, colourful Night Bazaar, or relax at a fine restaurant along the riverfront. Make sure to sample some delicious traditional northern Thai food – the signature dish is kao soy, yellow wheat noodles in a curry broth, traditionally served with chicken or beef.
Accommodation
  • Bodhi Serene Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Thai cooking class
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Take advantage of a free morning in Chiang Mai before taking a 1-2 hour drive through rolling green countryside 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
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • 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 capitals of Siam. Famed for its World Heritage listed historical park, which captures the Golden Age of Thai civilisation, the capital's name literally means 'Dawn of Happiness'. Today we visit the historical park, which spans the ruins of the town. You will rent a bicycle and take part in 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 beautiful grounds of Sukhothai Park. The rest of the afternoon is free, you might want to simply read a book by the pool back at your resort.
Accommodation
  • Sukhothai Heritage Resort or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sukhothai - Historical Park Bike Tour & Picnic Lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Continue south today to the provincial town of Kanchanaburi (approximately 7 hours). While the township may appear modern, it holds a dark past. Many Allied prisoners of war and conscripted Asian labourers were engaged here to help build a rail route to Myanmar (Burma), including the passage infamously known as Hellfire Pass. There will be an opportunity tomorrow to visit some of these historical sites, which can be found in the surrounding countryside. The reward for your travels today is a lush tropical setting – with a chalet right beside the famous River Kwai. Today's travel day will have plenty of stops along the way to stretch your legs and there will be plenty of time for lunch at a local restaurant.
Accommodation
  • River Kwai Resotel 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. Tonight we return back to our resort by the river.
Accommodation
  • River Kwai Resotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kanchanaburi - The Kanchanaburi War Cemetary (POW Cemetary)
  • Kanchanaburi - Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum
  • Kanchanaburi - Historical Train Journey
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Return to Bangkok today via private minivan (approximately 3 hours). There is no better way to end your journey 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. You will cruise on a traditional antique teakwood rice barge, be served a Thai set dinner, followed by live Thai music and traditional dance performance.
Accommodation
  • Rembrandt Hotel or similar (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
  • Rembrandt 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
  • Phowadol Resort & Spa or similar (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. You will spend the night in a lodge right by the river. Before then, enjoy the memorable experience of a Baci Ceremony, organised as a welcome by the Chaman of Pakbeng and the people of the village. This is the perfect way to begin your journey into Laos, putting the spirits on your side. The ceremony aims to bring the 32 souls (khouan) that look after you back to your body and attract beneficial influences. The Baci ceremony is performed at all important events in a person’s life.

Notes: Due to the remote location of Pakbeng, the accommodation tonight is of a lower standard than our usual Peregrine Hotels but still clean and comfortable.
Accommodation
  • Sanctuary Pakbeng Lodge or similiar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Pakbeng - Bay Sri Welcome Ceremony
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
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
This morning you will visit a traditional Lao textile-weaving centre. You’ll be taken by a guide through the centre and learn how this important project supports local Laotian artisan women and the community. The project is called Ock Pop Tok, or East Meets West, after its co-founders – a Laotian girl and English woman. The rest of the day is then free. 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)
Included Activities
  • Luang Prabang - Ock Pop Tok visit
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 Haw Phra 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

18 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 8 dinners

Transport

Boat, Plane, Private mini van, Songtheaw, Bicycle

Accommodation

Hotel (15 nights), Lodge (2 nights), Resort (1 night)

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
  • Chiang Mai - Buddist offering and Monk chat
  • Chiang Mai - Wat Suan Dok
  • Chiang Mai - Thai cooking class
  • H'mong Lodge meal and cultural show
  • Lampang - Friends of the Asian Elephant
  • Sukhothai - Historical Park Bike Tour & Picnic Lunch
  • Kanchanaburi - The Kanchanaburi War Cemetary (POW Cemetary)
  • Kanchanaburi - Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum
  • Kanchanaburi - Historical Train Journey
  • Bangkok - Dinner cruise
  • Chiang Rai - Wat Rong Kun (White Temple)
  • Pakbeng - Bay Sri Welcome Ceremony
  • Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Cave
  • Luang Prabang - Wat Visounnalat
  • Luang Prabang - Wat Xieng Thong
  • Luang Prabang - Kuang Si Waterfalls
  • Luang Prabang - Royal Palace Museum
  • Luang Prabang - Ock Pop Tok visit
  • Vientiane - Leader orientation walk
  • Vientiane - Haw Pra Kaew
  • Vientiane - Pratu Xai
  • Vientiane - That Luang
  • Vientiane - Wat Sri Saket

Dates & availability

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Important notes

A single supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information. Please note that on the following nights the single supplement is not available: Day 13 Pakbeng, this is due to the limit of accommodation in remote Pakbeng.
2. A complimentary arrival transfer is included please advise your flight details at time of booking.

Essential Trip Information

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