Thailand & Laos Adventure
15 Nights / 16 Days
Go Beyond Tour ¦16 Days¦Physical Level 2
Bangkok – Chiang Mai – Hmong Hilltribe -Chiang Rai – Pakbeng – Luang Prabang – Vientiane
An unforgettable experience awaits you in Thailand and Laos. Venture off the beaten track to discover the fascinating hilltribe cultures of Thailand’s northern highlands and explore the tranquil treasures and rich culture of beautiful Laos.
● Cruise Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River
● Discover Chiang Mai charms by cyclo
● Spend a night at a Hmong Hilltribe lodge
● Stroll through laidback Chiang Rai
● Meet monks in Laos
● Bathe in the pools of the Kuang Si Falls
Thailand & Laos Adventure tour inclusions:
All sightseeing and entrance fees
All transportation and transfers
English speaking National Escort (if your group is 10 or more passengers) or Local Guides
Visa fees for UK and EU passport holders (excluding Laos; please see visa section below for further information)
Specialist advice from our experienced travel consultants
Comprehensive travel guides
Safe and secure with ABTA, ATOL and IATA
Please ask our sales agent to price the International Flights
The only thing you may have to pay for are personal expenditure e.g. drinks, optional excursions or shows, insurance of any kind, early check in or late checkout and other items not specified on the itinerary.
Itinerary – Thailand & Laos Adventure
Day 1-2: Bangkok Meals included: Dinner
You will be met at Bangkok airport by your Local Guide or National Escort from Wendy Wu Tours. Together with all other group members who may be arriving at a similar time, you will transfer approximately 1 hour to your hotel and check-in to your room. There is no sightseeing today. Meeting point at the airport is located at Exit B Gate no.6. Your National Escort/ Local Guide will welcome you there holding a signboard.
● Bangkok has been Thailand's dominant city since the 18th century. It was established as the capital after the former capital Ayutthaya was destroyed by the Burmese. The emerging city, which was protected by a wall, was occupied by a large number of stilt houses built to adapt to common seasonal flooding. Up until the Thailand War, Bangkok was still largely undeveloped, until it became a popular place of rest and relaxation for American soldiers, which resulted in a boom of nightclubs, massage parlours and bars. However, in the 80s and 90s, Bangkok underwent rapid modernisation and exploded into the metropolis it is today. Bangkok’s dazzling neon signs, charming architecture, Thai cuisine and colourful markets make for an exciting first few days of our tour.
Day 3: Bangkok Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city today. Tour the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Chinatown. Take a cruise down Chao Phraya River on a longboat to see Pak Khlong Talaat Flower Market and take in an alternative view of the city. This evening, enjoy a performance of traditional Thai dancing before dinner.
Sightseeing involves around 5 hours on foot today and involves hopping on and off the boats, sometimes on unsteady or slippery surfaces, occasionally without handrails or assistance.
● One of Bangkok’s largest temples. Experience the monk’s chant as you explore the grounds of Wat Pho, spread over eight hectares. The largest reclining Buddha and the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand are housed here.
● The Grand Palace is the city’s most famous landmark. Built in 1782, for 150 years it was the home to the Thai King, the royal court and administrate seat of government. Within the Palace are several impressive buildings, including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
Pak Khlong Talaat Flower Market
● The biggest wholesale and retail fresh flower market in Bangkok.
Day 4: Bangkok – Chiang Mai Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Explore the Maeklong Railway Market, an extraordinary market that makes it home right on the tracks. Drive to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, where you will travel by wooden boats through the canals. Return to Bangkok ahead of this evening’s 1-hour flight to Chiang Mai.
The above information is correct for 2023 onwards. If planning to travel in 2022, please note that the Bangkok-Chiang Mai journey is made by overnight train.
Maeklong Railway Market – As the train rolls slowly through eight times a day, inches away from the goods for sale, this market makes for an unusual spectacle and an interesting place to walk and shop on the tracks.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
● Step back in time to experience the traditional way farmers would trade their produce. The canals are lined with boats that are paddled by local women and piled high with vegetables, fruit and even souvenirs for the tourists. Sit back and soak up the atmosphere as the locals go about their daily life and entertain with their haggling techniques.
● Located among tall mountains, Chiang Mai is the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand. The city was founded in 1296 and was the capital of the Lanna Kingdom, which was eventually occupied by the Burmese. For the next 200 years, Chiang Mai was virtually abandoned until it was again taken over by Siam in the 18th century. During the 20th century, Chiang Mai became a thriving centre for handicraft pottery, weaving, silverwork and woodcarving; however, tourism took over in the 1960s as the main source of income. Today, Chiang Mai is famous for its hilltribes, tea plantations and elephants.
Day 5: Chiang Mai Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Begin with a cyclo tour of the city, taking in the sights before stopping to visit the Folk Life Museum, Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Prah Singh. After lunch, visit Wat Doi Suthep, one of Thailand’s most sacred temples. Tucked away in the mountains at 1,056 metres above sea level, it offers a panoramic view of Chiang Mai. You will have the option to climb the Naga staircase or catch the cable car to visit the exquisite Golden Pagoda.
This evening we will enjoy a typical Thai (Khantoke) dinner while watching a performance of ancient dances and songs from northern Thailand by various hill tribes. Afterwards we will have an opportunity to visit the colourful Chiang Mai Night Market.
Folk Life Museum – The museum recreates traditional Lanna village life inside a former Thai Colonial-style provincial court.
Day 6: Chiang Mai – Hmong Hilltribe Lodge Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
This morning, visit the local yoga centre, and enjoy a meditation session. Later this morning journey into the hills surrounding Chiang Mai. Transfer approximately 1 and a half hours hour by minivan, crossing the countryside, passing forests, farms and villages reaching the village where you will spend the night in a traditional Hmong Hilltribe Lodge. The Hmong Hilltribe Lodge is made up of ten individual houses, each comprising of four separate rooms with private bathrooms, arranged around a central communal area. The afternoon is at leisure. Optional activities this afternoon include a short hike to the village, hire a bike, have a massage or relax by the pool. You also have the chance to join in a meditation or yoga session (depending on availability). This evening, enjoy a barbecue and a cultural show.
● Northern Thailand is home to various tribal people who migrated from China and Tibet over the past few centuries. They now inhabit the remote border areas between northern Thailand, Laos and Myanmar (Burma). The six major hill tribes within Thailand are the Akha, Lahu, Karen, Hmong, Mien and Lisu, each with a distinct language and culture.
Day 7: Hmong Hilltribe Lodge – Chiang Rai Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Visit the Thai Elephant Care Centre in Mae Rim this morning. The centre is located in the beautiful Mesa valley and is the peaceful retirement for elephants rescued from logging camps and elephant shows. Meet one of their caretakers, who will guide you through the centre, explaining about the centre and its inhabitants.
Continue 90 minutes to Tha Ton, a small town by the Mae Kok River, and board your long tail motorboat for your cruise to Baan Pha Tai. Upon arrival, drive a further 2 hours to Chiang Rai and take a walk around the night market.
Thai Elephant Care Centre – a care centre dedicated to looking after elderly elephants in their final stage of life. Elephant rides are not permitted. Chiang Rai – The northern-most province of Thailand sharing borders with Myanmar and Laos, and also one of the most ethnically diverse provinces in Thailand. The province is abundant with natural scenery; lush rice terraces, hills scattered with orchids and the mountains of Myanmar and Laos are visible in the distance.
Day 8: Chiang Rai Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Today, peek into some of the hidden artistic gems of Chiang Rai with a visit to Wat Rong Kun, also known as the White Temple, where you will see some surprising imagery. After lunch, visit a tea plantation on Doi Mae Salong to taste the local tea.
● One of the most recognisable temples in Thailand, the unorthodox White Temple is a contemporary Buddhist and Hindu temple, an ongoing project by Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat in 1997. Inside, you will see a surprising fusion of imagery depicting the ‘wickedness of mankind’, with imagesranging from nuclear warfare to fictional characters such as Freddy Krueger, all interspersed with the faces of fiery demons.
● Once known as a centre for opium trade in the golden triangle, Mae Salong is now associated with tribal villages and the production of excellent local tea.
Day 9: Chiang Rai – Pakbeng Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Rise early to reach the border into Laos and join your Mekong cruise to Pakbeng. The boat is a local wooden slow boat, with a roof and toilet. You will be travelling for approximately 6 to 7 hours today, depending on the water level and will be served lunch on board your cruise. Stop along the way to observe rural life, visiting Ban Houy Lumpair Hmong village. Arrive in Pakbeng and check in to your hotel.
You will need to pack a smaller overnight bag for your trip to Pakbeng. Main luggage will be left in safe storage on the boat and picked up on arrival in Luang Prabang.
Pakbeng – A traditional village on the Mekong River, Pakbeng is the first stop in Laos for travellers crossing the border by slow boat.
Day 10: Pakbeng – Luang Prabang Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
After breakfast, board the boat for the second leg of the cruise. Continue to Pak Ou village at the mouth of the Nam Ou River, where you visit the Pak Ou Caves of a Thousand Buddhas. Arrive in Luang Prabang and check in to your hotel.
Pak Ou Caves
● The caves are noted for their miniature Buddha sculptures. Hundreds of very small and mostly damaged wooden Buddhist figures are laid out over the wall shelves. They take many different positions, including meditation, teaching, peace, rain, and reclining (nirvana).
● The capital of the province of the same name, Luang Prabang lies in a valley at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. It is known for its many Buddhist temples, including the gilded Wat Xieng Thong, dating to the 16th century, and Wat Mai, once the residence of the head of Laotian Buddhism.
Day 11: Luang Prabang Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Visit Ban Xangkhong Craft Village, where you can see Sa Paper and local handcraft production. Later visit the monastery of Wat Xieng Thong, one the finest examples of Luang Prabang architecture, and Wat Visoun. We spend some time talking with local monks and young people at a local temple and hearing about their lifestyle.
Wat Xieng Thong
● A Buddhist temple (wat), located on the northern tip of the peninsula of Luang Prabang, Laos. Wat Xieng Thong is one of the most important of Lao monasteries and remains a significant monument to the spirit of religion, royalty and traditional art. There are over twenty structures on the grounds, including a sim, shrines, pavilions and residences, in addition to its gardens of various flowers, ornamental shrubs and trees.
Day 12: Luang Prabang Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Rise early this morning to see the Buddhist ceremony of Takbat or alms-giving. Continue to the Phousi Temple and the National Museum. From here, drive 1 hour to Kuang Si Waterfall, visiting a local market en route. At the falls, enjoy the opportunity to swim, splash or simply relax beside the pools. Return to Luang Prabang, stopping at Ock Pop Tok Weaving Centre en route. Sightseeing at the waterfall will involve around 1 hour of light walking, and on the way up to the waterfall you follow a bush walking track, which has a slight upward gradient. Electric car transfers may be available. There are changing areas at the site.
Kuang Si Waterfalls
● A three-tier waterfall about 29 kilometres south of Luang Prabang. The falls begin in shallow pools atop a steep hillside. These lead to the main fall with a 60 metres cascade. The falls are accessed via a trail to a left of the falls. Water collects in numerous turquoise blue pools as it flows downstream. The many cascades that result are typical of travertine waterfalls. There are walkways and bridges for your enjoyment. Most of the pools are usually open for swimming.
Day 13: Luang Prabang – Vientiane Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Enjoy a day at leisure until your 45 minute flight to Vientiane. On arrival, check in to your hotel. Laos' laid-back capital, mixes French colonial architecture with golden Buddhist. Notable shrines sit along Vientiane’s tree-lined streets, and its many bakeries, cafés and villas seem straight out of 19th-century Paris.
Day 14: Vientiane Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
This morning visit Talaat Sao, Vientiane’s Morning Market. Then continue to Wat Sisaket, the oldest original temple in Vientiane. Head out of town to visit one of Laos’ slightly stranger attractions
● Xieng Khuan Buddha Park. It is the site of a large collection of many kinds of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures.
En route, take a look at the impressive Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge which spans the Mekong river border. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner with some traditional Lao music.
Wat Si Saket
● Wat Si Saket was built in 1818, on the orders of King Anouvong (Sethathirath V.) It is built in the ‘Siamese style’ of Buddhist architecture, with a surrounding terrace and an ornate five-tiered roof, rather than in the Lao style. This Siamese style may have kept it safe, since the armies of Siam that sacked Vientiane following Anouvong's rebellion in 1827 used the compound as their headquarters and lodging place. It may be the oldest temple still standing in Vientiane.
Day 15-16: Depart Vientiane Meals included: Breakfast
Today is at leisure until transferring to the airport for your flight home, arriving the following day.
08/02/23 & 08/03/23 & 08/11/23 & 07/02/24 & 06/03/24 & 06/11/24