The very best of Northern Thailand and Laos in one amazing trip.
This trip is all about "the journey" as we travel from Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand to Chaing Rai and then following the course of the great Mekong River via Luang Prabang (the old royal capital) and Vang Vieng to the capital of Laos, Vientiane.
At the moment (But changing fast) Laos is still the Asia of old, and retains much of its charm and a slower, more gentle pace of life than the rest of Asia. Now is the time to see this lovely country.
Chiang Mai (3 nights)
You can arrive any time on the first day as our program will start in the evening around 5pm. Our lovely accommodation has a nice swimming pool, and you will have time to relax after a long flight. Sunday is “Walking Street” day in Chiang Mai and this is a great introduction to the city and its “Vibe”
I have found some exceptional restaurants, the best places to enjoy an evening beer, and some superb massage spas to indulge and relax in during the hot afternoons. Chiang Mai has some fun, quirky Gay bars, and it’s nice to have some venues where we get to meet the locals, watch some shows, and enjoy evening time and each other’s company. This is also a wonderful city to walk around, the old city has literally hundreds of temples and I will take you to see the very best of them.
Chiang Rai (2 night)
After a leisurely breakfast we load up our private airconditioned minivan and head north, visiting the famed Queen Sirikit botanical gardens, and other interesting points along the way as we drive the 3.5 hr trip to Chiang Rai. Here we will be visiting the famed ''White'' and ''Blue'' pagodas and the artistic delight of the "Black house".
2 days river cruise up the Mekong River (1 night in an amazing eco lodge)
8am start this morning as we drive the 1.5 hr trip to the boarder with Laos and board our long boat for a trip of a lifetime as we head up the Mekong River, stopping on the way to see the Cave temples and local villages. The scenery is wonderful, as on this stretch of the river the banks are high and covered in native forest. Our overnight stay is in one of my favourite places in Asia and it will be yours as well when you see it.
Luang Prabang (4 nights)
Arriving by longboat at the UNESCO listed former Royal Capital of Luang Prabang, a true delight. Here we stay in a lovely historic colonial style hotel in the old city, perfect for heading out on foot to explore at your leisure. We get to visit the fabled waterfalls, enjoying some of the most beautiful Buddhist Wat's in the whole of Asia, whilst spending time with novice monks practicing their English.
Vang Vieng (1nights)
From Luang Prabang we speed through lovely countryside on the new "Belt and Road" bullet train (which opened in 2021) to Vang Vieng a small town with a sublime location in spectacular limestone cast mountains. We go tubing down the river and Kayaking (optional) our hotel has a view over the river and mountains. This is truly a place to chill out with a beer and a book. This is also where we may have the opportunity to go Ballooning if the conditions are right.
Vientiane (2 nights)
From Vang Vieng we again board the train and head through the mountains tunnel after tunnel to one of the most laid-back capitals on the planet, Vientiane feels more like a country town than capital city. Here we explore the sites and get to sample some truly fine "French" cuisine at a fraction of the prices in Paris. We head to the riverside in the evening, checking out the night markets, street life and aerobic classes on the riverfront along the Mekong.
We celebrate our adventure with a “Goodbye dinner” on the last evening.
Departure Day 14
You can depart anytime today and a transfer to the airport will be arranged for your onward journey.
Accommodation is a highlight of this trip and I have chosen some lovely properties located in the heart of where we want to be, so expect to be able to walk out of the hotel and be in the middle of the action. All are of 4-star quality and have been chosen for their location and ambiance. All have ensuite bathrooms, and some will have a swimming pool.
As with all our trips let go of the concept you're signing up for a structured tour, you're not, you're joining us on a Thailand and Laos adventure, yes, it’s a semi structured adventure with all the hard work done, but it is nevertheless an adventure. Things will go wrong some days, and changes will need to be taken in their stride, you will need your wits about you, and to expect to do some exploring on your own occasionally.
Register NOW to be first in line to be informed when we announce the next departure date for this great trip.
Starts Chiang Mai (CNX) and finishes in Vientiane (VTE) Capital of Laos.
A 13 night, 14 day adventure. Timed to experience the magic of the "Boun Lai Heua Fai" festival.
Min 6 Max 12.
Cost estimate for next tour
( the exact cost will be calculated at the time the tour dates are announced and depends on hotel season prices)
U$ 2950 Twin share.
U$ 3590 Private room
Payment can be made in AUD,GBP,NZD or USD and you need to organize your own flights and travel insurance.
Bangkok, Singapore, or KL are the best hub cities to fly into CNX and out of VTE on the same ticket.
Exchange rate movements can play havoc with planning overseas trips but quoting in USD usually means less fluctuations.
Due to the nature of Adventure travel and the prices of the resources on which it depends, the published price of any trip is subject to change at any time, before or after booking confirmation, up to 30 days before the departure.
Options and methods of payment.