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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$1,529

US$1,376


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 8-12. Maximum 16.
  • Recommended Age: 18-65
  • Country: Thailand, Laos

Itinerary

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Day 1 to 1 - Arrive Bangkok

The first day of your tour is simply an arrival day with no pre-organised activities. In order to allow time to relax and see some of the sights you may wish to add pre-tour accommodation.

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.

Bangkok boasts hundreds of Wats (temples), with Wat Arun being the main one visited by most travellers. The Grand Palace is also a popular attraction, and for something different you can cruise along the Chao Phraya River and through the canals. 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.

As today is Saturday tonight is a great time to visit the massive Chatuchak Weekend Market where you can find almost anything for sale.

Thailand's currency is the Thai Baht (BHT).

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 - Phitsanulok

Today we take the train to Phitsanulok, one of Thailand's ancient capitals and a town of great importance. Although a bustling hub for travellers, our adventure to Phitsanulok takes us off the tourist trail to experience local life and see untouched Thailand

Discover the revered temple Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat which is home to one of the most important Buddha images. The bronze statue is the centrepiece of the temple and is the most copied.

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels at Amarin Nakorn Hotel or similar

Day 3 to 3 - Sukhothai

Thailand’s ancient capital Sukhothai 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

1 night(s) in hotels at Vitoon Guesthouse or similar

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

Day 4 to 5 - Chiang Mai

Our journey today culminates in Chiang Mai , the 'Rose of the North', where you can 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

Accommodation

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

Meals

2 Breakfast(s)

Day 6 to 6 - Golden Triangle

Leaving Chiang Mai we first stop at the Hmong Hilltribe road side market to pick up some snacks and souvenirs for the day. Continuing on we travel north around Si Lanna National Park stopping at Wat Thaton Chedi, a large temple complex situated on top of a hill. We visit Chedi Kaew, known as the Crystal Pagoda which boasts spectacular views over Thailand and Myanmar.

After stopping for lunch in the border town of Thaton, our next visit is a Akah Hilltribe village. Here you can learn how these indigenous people go about their daily lives. Entrances to all Akha villages have a wooden gate known as a “Spirit Gate”. Admire the fascinating carvings marked on the sides and keep your eyes peeled for similar markings on the roofs of the houses within the village!

All this exploring is thirsty work so our next stop is the Shwi Foung Tea Plantation! Admire the magnificent views and perhaps sample some of Thailand's wonderful jasmine or green teas. We travel on to our final destination, the small town of Sop Ruak, the centre of the Golden Triangle. Before checking into our hotel, we will visit the Golden Triangle viewpoint where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar all meet on the Mekong River.

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels at Yopensok Resort or similar

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

Day 7 to 7 - Chiang Rai

The next day we discover the old Opium Museum where you can learn about Asia's past illicit opium production and the history of the Golden Triangle. Next we will see the giant Golden Buddha sitting on a boat by the riverside and the stone elephants there to protect him.

En route to Chiang Rai we will explore 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! We will also visit the Black Temple. Compare the two, and see the stark contrasts not only in colour but in architecture and design too! We end our day in Chiang Rai, and our hotel is situated near the popular Night Bazaar Market. Haggle for gifts or sample a freshly-cooked pad thai in this vibrant night spot.

Included Excursions

Visit the Opium Museum & Golden Triangle,Visit the White Temple & Black Temple

Accommodation

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

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

Day 8 to 9 - Luang Prabang

Today we have a flight to Luang Prabang. On the way to the airport we will stop at the Cashew Nut shop to pick up snacks for the journey. 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. 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. Here we will visit the monks at sunrise who collect alms that are donated by the locals.

There are many temples to visit in Luang Prabang - over 30 in fact, which is a large number for this small town.

Included Excursions

Visit the 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 10 to 11 - 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.

Included Excursions

Countryside tuk-tuk trip in Vang Vieng

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 12 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

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

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

Meals

2 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

  • Bicycle tour of Sukhothai
  • Visit the Opium Museum & Golden Triangle
  • Visit the White Temple & Black Temple
  • Visit the Monks collecting alms
  • Countryside tuk-tuk trip in Vang Vieng
  • COPE Centre

Accommodation

14 night(s) in hotels

Transportation

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

Meals

13 Breakfast(s)

Other

Tucan Travel tour leader

What's Not Included

  • 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.

Group

Group Size: Maximum 16. Average 8-12.

Tour Suitability: This tour is recommended for people aged 18-65. For more information on what to expect, click here.

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