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  • The Golden Pagoda at Wat Pha-That Luang, Laos
  • Kuang Si Waterfall near Luang Prabang, Laos
  • The Sukhothai Historical Park, Thailand
  • The Royal Pavilion in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • One of the intricate statues at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand
Route:
Bangkok to Bangkok
Days:
15
Style: Worldwide Adventures
Code: SELT
From:

US$1,521

Starting in bustling Bangkok and travelling through Northern Thailand we visit ancient ruins, colourful night markets, local tribes nestled high in the hills and intricate temples. Crossing into Laos, we meet the friendly locals as we donate alms to the monks, pass lush green paddyfields and explore French colonial cities.

About this tour

  • Type of Travel: Public Transport
  • Group Size: Average 10-14. Maximum 16.
  • Recommended Age: 18-65
  • Physical Rating: Asia 2
  • Country: Laos, Thailand

What you need to know

  • We will try to run your tour as close to the itinerary as conditions will allow. On very rare occasions, local events may affect the way your itinerary operates. We ask for your flexibility and understanding in these situations.
  • Always have a few ID photos on you for visas. This is especially important in arrival places such as Laos or Vietnam where photos are needed
  • Pack Light! In addition to there being plenty of laundries available on tour, clothes are simply so much cheaper in Asia. Leave the designer gear at home and visit the local markets.
  • The first day of your tour is simply an arrival day with no pre-organised activities. You will meet your Tour Leader at 18.00 for the pre-departure meeting. In order to allow time to relax and see some of the sights you may wish to add pre-tour accommodation.

Itinerary

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Day 1 to 1 - Arrive Bangkok

Thailand's capital, Bangkok, is a crazy and chaotic city! Known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon pronounced or Krung Thep "city of angels" for short, Bangkok was a small trading post at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River during the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Bangkok is now the gateway to South East Asia for most travellers and international backpackers come and go and the streets are always buzzing and full of life.

Optional Excursions

Thai Massage per hour from – THB 250 • Wat Phra Kaew – from THB 500 • Thai cookery course – from THB 1200 • Bangkok canal tour – from THB 750

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels at New Siam II or similar

Day 2 to 2 - Bangkok

Today we will visit Bangkok Grand Palace, home to the revered Emerald Buddha. Admire the ornate architecture and visit the temples inside. Returning to hotel we will take a river taxi along the Chao Phraya River. Bangkok once had an elaborate network of canals and was given the nickname, 'Venice of the East', and although some of them have been filled in and converted to streets, many still exist today. Travelling through these canals you will see how the locals live along the riverside - you almost forget you are in a large, bustling city.

Included Excursions

Bangkok Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha,Bangkok river taxi

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Day 3 to 4 - Sukhothai

Leaving Bangkok we fly to Sukhothai, Thailand's ancient capital. It is home to the ancient ruins of the former city. A popular highlight of Thailand, it was the capital of the Thai empire for approximately 140 years and translates literally to “Dawn of Happiness”.

The temples and monuments have been since excavated and reconstructed in places, the restoration now naming the destination Sukhothai Historical Park.

The old city has many zones interspersed with lakes and bridges to island bound ruins, and covers roughly 70 square kilometers. We will take a bicycle tour around the World Heritage Site and explore the typical Thai architecture including the Wat Mahathat, one of the most spectacular Buddhas seated amongst the stone ruins .

Included Excursions

Bicycle tour of Sukhothai

Accommodation

2 night(s) in a guesthouse at Vitoon Guesthouse or similar

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

Day 5 to 6 - Chiang Mai

Our journey takes us to Chiang Mai , the 'Rose of the North', where you have two nights to enjoy a Thai cooking course, relaxing massage, take in a night-time Thai kick-boxing bout (Muay Thai) or haggle the night away at Chiang Mai’s famous evening street market.

Optional Excursions

Thai cookery course – THB 800 per person (depending on class size) • Doi Suthep temple by Songthaew (type of Thai vehicle) – THB 300 • Bicycle tour – from THB 800 per day • Watch Muay Thai Boxing - From THB 400

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels at Winner Inn or similar

Meals

2 Breakfast(s)

Day 7 to 8 - Chiang Rai & Golden Triangle

Leaving Chiang Mai head to the bus station to board our bus to Chiang Rai. The journey only takes 3.5 hours so you have the afternoon to explore. The next day we will have a full day tour to discover the surrounding area. We will head to the Golden Triangle viewpoint where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar all meet on the Mekong River and the old Opium Museum where you can learn about Asia's past illicit opium production. Next we will see the giant Golden Buddha sitting on a boat by the riverside and the stone elephants there to protect him.

We will also visit Wat Rong Khun, famously known as the White Temple. Many tour leaders have claimed that Rong Khun is the most fascinating temple they have visited and during your visit you’ll be amazed at the decorations both inside and out! You can compare this with the Black Temple. Discover the stark contrasts not only in colour but in architecture and design too! We will return to our hotel in Chiang Rai which is situated near the popular Night Bazaar Market. All this exploring is hungry work so be sure to sample a freshly-cooked pad thai in this vibrant night spot.

Included Excursions

Full day trip to the Golden Triangle including Opium Museum, Giant Golden Buddha in Sop Ruak, White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) Black House (Baan Dam)

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels at Baan Pordeedin Guesthouse or similar

Meals

2 Breakfast(s)

Day 9 to 10 - Luang Prabang

Today we have a flight to Luang Prabang. Many say that Luang Prabang is the most memorable town in all of Laos. Renowned for a fascinating history and some of the friendliest people, Luang Prabang refers to the holy Pra Bang, Laos' most sacred image of the Buddha given to Fa Ngoum.

We have two days to enjoy this sleepy town, which is located 300 metres above sea level on the upper Mekong. As you explore you will see that Luang Prabang is dominated by Phousi - the marvellous hill-top temple that sits in the middle of the town. We will ascend up to visit Wat Tham Phounsi and to admire the breath-taking views of Luang Prabang. You'll notice a combination of Lao, French and Lao-French colonial influence as you admire the city's buildings and architectural highlights - all of which you can see discovering the town on foot. We will also visit the monks at sunrise who collect alms that are donated by the locals.

Included Excursions

Trip to and up Mount Phousi to visit Wat Tham Phousi,Visit to witness the local Monks collecting Alms

Optional Excursions

Royal Theatre dance performances – US$20 • Royal Palace – LAK 30,000 • Wat Xieng Thong – LAK 20,000 • Wat Poa Phon Phoa – donation expected • Kuang Si Falls – LAK 20,000 (not including transport)

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels at Treasure Hotel or similar

Meals

2 Breakfast(s)

Day 11 to 12 - Vang Vieng

As we make our way south from Luang Prabang we travel past stunning scenery to Vang Vieng. This peaceful town is situated on a plateau with stunning surroundings of limestone caves and waterfalls, and the area is inhabited by the Hmong and Yao tribes. The limestone caves are renowned in ancient mythology and have featured in the prose of many artists throughout time. Vang Vieng is an excellent place to try the local cuisine and there are markets to indulge in. Here we will take a tuk-tuk tour off the beaten track through some of Laos' most incredible scenery and see the local villages and paddy fields. Make sure you bring your swimming costume as we will visit the Blue Lagoon where you can take a dip.

Included Excursions

Vang Vieng tuk-tuk tour to the Blue Lagoon

Optional Excursions

Bamboo rafting/kayaking including visit to caves – US$20 • Caves – most entry fees are US$2

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels at Vilayvong Hotel or similar

Meals

2 Breakfast(s)

Day 13 to 13 - Vientiane

The capital of Laos is extremely quiet - so quiet that, before 1970, there was only one set of traffic lights in the entire city (a far cry from Bangkok!). We have time to admire this tranquil city with its many murals and markets. Many buildings you will see when you wander the streets are of religious significance. You may wish to hire a bicycle and explore the local streets and markets which are excellent here.

Laos was a victim during the Vietnam War and is actually the most bombed country in the world. During the fighting 270 million submunitions were dropped on Laos between 1963 to 1974, and many of those failed to explode, still remaining live in the ground.

In Vientiane, we visit the COPE Centre and learn about the UXO problem in Laos and how the country is managing the situation. We learn about the work undertaken by COPE to provide disability services for people affected by the bombing. As part of the exhibition, you can also watch a number of excellent documentary films where you can learn more.

Included Excursions

Visit the COPE Centre

Optional Excursions

Temples – most entry fees are US$2 • Wat Pra Kaeo (Grand Palace and museum) – LAK 5000 • National Museum – LAK 20,000 • Buddha Park – LAK 8,000 entrance (plus transport starting from LAK 80,000)

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels at Mali Namphu Hotel or similar

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

Day 14 to 14 - Bangkok

Today we fly to Bangkok where we can enjoy a final dinner and spend the night before the end of our tour tomorrow

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels at New Siam II or similar

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

Day 15 to 15 - Depart Bangkok

Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

What's Included

Excursions & Activities

  • Bangkok Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha
  • Bangkok river taxi
  • Bicycle tour of Sukhothai
  • Full day trip to the Golden Triangle including Opium Museum, Giant Golden Buddha in Sop Ruak, White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) Black House (Baan Dam)
  • Trip to and up Mount Phousi to visit Wat Tham Phousi
  • Visit to witness the local Monks collecting Alms
  • Vang Vieng tuk-tuk tour to the Blue Lagoon
  • Visit the COPE Centre

Accommodation

12 night(s) in hotels, 2 night(s) in a guesthouse

Transportation

Train, Travel by 2 flight(s), Public Bus, Private Vehicle

Meals

12 Breakfast(s)

Other

Tucan Travel tour leader

What's Not Included

  • Visas and travel insurance
  • Spending money – budget for meals, snacks, drinks, limited souvenirs, laundry, tips and any extras
  • International flights to/from the start/end of your tour and departure taxes  
  • Tips on included excursions, visas, travel insurance, personal items and single rooms.  
  • Optional excursions - On each trip, you may find there are some excursions that are not included. This might be because they are not to everyone's taste or there may be various options of differing value to choose from. More information on the excursions we recommend is listed under each day of your itinerary though prices may vary. If you are after something in particular, don't hesitate to ask your tour leader.

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Extra ServicesExtra Services

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Departure Transfer US$49.00
Bangkok Don Mueang Departure Transfer US$49.00
Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Arrival Transfer US$49.00
Bangkok Don Mueang Arrival Transfer US$49.00
I'd Like My Own Room US$319.00
Single Room (pre tour) US$44.00
Twin Room (pre tour) US$22.00
Double Room (pre tour) US$22.00
Single Room (post tour) US$44.00
Twin Room (post tour) US$22.00
Double Room (post tour) US$22.00

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