Laos Discovery

Explore Buddhist temples in Laos
Bond with your local guide in Thailand
  • We've got two weeks to get you around Vietnam, Laos and Northern Thailand. Take a tuk-tuk, cruise on a riverboat, speed along on a songthaew and embrace some pedal power.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Hanoi

    Pay your respect to Uncle Ho then hit the cobblestone streets for exploring.

    • The adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
    • If arriving early, why not get your first taste of Vietnam exploring the lovely, laidback capital
    • Perhaps stroll the tree-lined boulevards, wander the Old Quarter or head to the Temple of Literature, an oasis at the heart of Hanoi
    Breakfast

    Day 2 - Vinh

    Get your street food fix at the Central Market. There's pho bo, bun bo and pho ga aplenty.

    • Enjoy time for a bit of last-minute shopping or sightseeing before leaving Hanoi
    • Board a private bus bound for Vinh and enjoy the diverse countryside on the drive to the birth place of Ho Chi Minh (approx 7 hrs)

    Day 3-4 - Vientiane

    Riverside calm, gorgeous temples, fab food and charming locals. What more could you want?

    Journey through spectacular mountain scenery by minibus on the Ho Chi Minh trail, before crossing the border into Laos and heading for the capital, Vientiane. It's a long day (approx. 12 hours)
    • Follow dusty tracks along the river to find villages full of friendly children, dogs and chickens
    • Vientiane's vibrant, colourful morning market (which incidentally is open all day!) is full of local treasures
    • Perhaps round off the day by watching a spectacular sunset over the Mekong
    • Take to the dusty streets on foot to visit Wat Si Saket, perhaps the oldest temple in Laos
    • Once home to the 'Emerald Buddha', visit the former royal temple of the Laos monarchy, Haw Pha Kaew
    • Continue on to a symbol for Vientiane, Patuxai, or Victory Temple, and head to the top for an unsurpassed view of the city
    • Visit COPE, an organisation dedicated to assistingthose who have been injured by the multitude of unexploded ordinance across the country

    Day 5-7 - Van Vieng

    Bikes are a great way to check out the limestone karsts, caves and cliff faces.

    • Take a beautiful local bus ride through roadside villages to Vang Vieng (approx 3.5 hrs)
    • Perhaps visit the local markets, enjoy some riverside walks, explore the many nearby caves, or take a swim at Tham Chang
    • Why not hire bicycles to explore further afield
    • Optional tour of an Organic Mulberry Farm

    Day 8-10 - Luang Prabang

    No modern buildings and nothing higher than two floors at this UNESCO World Heritage site town.

    • Take the bus through dusty villages and winding mountain roads to Luang Prabang (approx 7 hrs)
    • Join a local guide on a walk of the local area
    • Learn more about Laos culture at the ruins of Wat Pha Mahathat
    • Explore the local market where the variety of local produce will amaze
    • Head out to the beautiful Kuang Si Falls, where pale turquoise waters cascade over limestone formations - perfect for an afternoon dip
    • Other sites to explore include the Royal Palace, many temples and the sacred caves of Pak Ou
    • Perhaps make the steep climb up Mount Phousi - a great spot to watch the sunset over the Mekong

    Day 11 - Mekong River

    Let the Mother Mekong show you her part of the world.

    • Board a private boat for a relaxing two-day journey down the mighty Mekong River - a great way to experience the slow pace of village life and the breathtaking scenery along the river
    • Dock at the small trading port of Pak Beng to spend the night (approx 6 hrs)
    • The following morning, reboard the boat and cruise leisurely upriver to Huay Xai (approx 8 hrs)
    • Stay overnight in a very basic guesthouse
    Breakfast

    Day 12 - Chiang Khong

    Temples, markets and food. In April there's a Giant Catfish festival.

    • Reboard the boat and cruise further before crossing the border into Thailand (approx. 8hrs)
    • Spend the night in Chiang Khong - an important market town for the surrounding hill tribes and trade with Laos
    Breakfast

    Day 13-14 - Chiang Mai

    Try local favourite khao soi (yellow noodles in thick coconut milk curry), topped with crispy fried noodles, wedges of lime, pickled cabbage and shallots).

    • Take a private minibus to Chiang Mai (approx 6 hrs) - the 'Rose of the North' is known for its beauty and the friendly local people
    • Visit spectacular temples, night markets, the picturesque river-front and eat delicious food and enjoy fantastic shopping
    • Take a leader-led walk through the old city
    • Optional activities include: hiring a bicycle, climbing to Doi Suthep temple, signing up for a Thai cooking class or loosening those muscles with some traditional Thai massage
    • Board an overnight train for Bangkok (approx 13 hrs)
    Breakfast

    Day 14-15 - Bangkok

    Check out the Grand Palace then hit the shops.

    • Arriving early in the morning, head towards the hotel in Banglamphu
    • Perhaps relax and indulge in some Thai massage, or travel by longtail boat down the Chao Phraya River to explore the famous 'khlongs' (canals) of Bangkok
    • There are no activities planned for the final day
    • Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
    Breakfast
  • What's Included

    • An experienced local tour guide, and there will be the services of local site guides at some sites. All transportation, accommodation, meals and sightseeing as indicated.

    Not Included

    • International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.
  • Map Itinerary

  • Trip Dates and Prices

    Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price
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15 days
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Nuts+Bolts

#GTRK
- 12
Boat, Bus, Private bus, Songthaew, Tuk-tuk
1 night Sleeper train, 7 nights Guesthouse, 6 nights Hotel
Hanoi
Bangkok

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