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Thailand & Laos Adventure

13 Days | Explore Thailand and Laos, travelling from Bangkok to Vientiane

4.9 out of 5 based on 136 reviews submitted.
Explorer
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GBP £1,155
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Travel from Bangkok to Vientiane experiencing the delights of northern Thailand and the laidback river lifestyle of Laos. Join us on a voyage of discovery and relaxation, taking in the bright lights of Bangkok in Thailand, the age-old charms of Luang Prabang in Laos and the temples of Vientiane. Travel down the mighty Mekong River and become immersed in the tranquillity of remote villages and meet friendly faces along the way.

Trip overview

Map of Thailand & Laos Adventure including Lao Pdr and Thailand
Start
Bangkok, Thailand
Finish
Vientiane, Laos
Theme
Explorer
Destinations
Thailand, Laos
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Original
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 16
Trip code
TLSV
This trip generates 31 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • Travel from Thailand's lively capital and activity-filled Chiang Mai, to the riverside tranquillity of Laos and its stunning scenery.
  • Ensure your holiday gives back by supporting organisations like COPE, which helps those injured by unexploded ordinance left from the Vietnam war.
  • Rock the night away on the rails on a sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, then drift down the Mekong on a slow boat.
  • Discover just why Luang Prabang has UNESCO status as you uncover the French Colonial influence, beautiful temples, traditional arts and the world renown night markets.
  • Indulge in a sweet and socially responsible treat at Laos Buffalo Dairy, an enterprise that produces delicious ice-cream while giving back to the community.
  • Discover the mysterious beauty of the Lao jungle as you walk side by side with recently rescued elephants on stroll through their natural habitat at Mandalao. Read more about this Intrepid Foundation supported project here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/elephant-sanctuary-laos/
  • Rise with the sun and watch saffron-robed monks shuffle between houses, where the faithful wait with offerings as part of an alms giving ritual.

Is this trip right for you?
  • You'll get to see lots of major highlights and cover plenty of distance over the course of this trip, which means some long travel days. Laos is less developed than some of its neighbours so roads can be bumpy, delays common and accommodation simpler in some locations compared to Thailand or Vietnam.
  • Pak Beng, where we pause to break up our Mekong journey, is a remote and quiet town with little tourist infrastructure - a contrast to the traveller hubs of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang.
  • It can be surprisingly cool, especially at night from November to February. Make sure you have some warm gear packed for this period so you can be comfortable. Smoke Haze can be common for Northern Thailand into Laos between March and April due to burning off season of crops. You may wish to take a quality mask with you if you are particularly sensitive to smoke.
  • Due to dam construction upstream, water levels on the Mekong aren't as reliable as in previous years. When the Mekong River is at its lowest from February to April, part of the journey may occasionally need to be made overland by bus instead of by boat.
  • There is free time in a number of destinations to spend as you wish. Your leader can make suggestions, and some prior research to work out what you are most interested in will help you make the most of your time.

Itinerary

Map of Thailand & Laos Adventure including Lao Pdr and Thailand

Inclusions

Meals

9 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Transport

Longtail boat, Taxi, Minivan, Overnight train, Boat, Tuk tuk, Private bus

Accommodation

Guesthouse (2 nights), Hotel (9 nights), Overnight train (1 night)

Activities
  • Bangkok - Khlong boat canal tour
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho
  • Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep Temple Complex (Entrance)
  • Chiang Rai - Wat Rong Khun (White Temple)
  • Mekong River - 2 day boat trip
  • Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Caves
  • Luang Prabang - Kuang Si Waterfalls
  • Luang Prabang - Alms giving ceremony
  • Luang Prabang - Laos Buffalo Dairy social enterprise visit
  • Luang Prabang - MandaLao Elephant Conservation trek
  • Luang Prabang - Lunch at Manda Lao Elephant Conservation
  • Vientiane - COPE visit
  • Vientiane - Wat Si Saket
Add on activities
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
  • Bangkok - Thai Massage - THB250
  • Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB200
  • Chiang Mai - Thai cooking course - THB1000
  • Chiang Mai - Bicycle tour - THB990
  • Luang Prabang - Mt Phu Si - USD2
  • Luang Prabang - Night Market - Free
  • Luang Prabang - Royal Theatre - USD20
  • Luang Prabang - Wat Xieng Thong - USD3
  • Luang Prabang - National Museum - USD4
  • Vang Vieng - Bicycle hire - USD2
  • Vang Vieng - Wat Si Vieng Song - Free
  • Vang Vieng - Kayaking - USD35
  • Vang Vieng - Tham Phu Kham Cave - LAK10000
  • Vientiane - Xieng Khuan (Buddha Park) tuk tuk & entrance - LAK205000
  • Vientiane - Pha That Luang Monument (incl. long skirt hire to enter) - LAK15000
  • Vientiane - Lao Textile Museum - LAK30000
  • Vientiane - Haw Pha Kaeo Museum of Religious Art - LAK10000

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 2 (Overnight train) and Day 6 (Pak Beng) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information. Please note that some room configurations have two single beds, although a double bed will always be requested.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Read Essential Trip Information

Reviews

4.9 out of 5 based on 136 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Rosalind · Traveled January 2024
The tour leader was great, the trip was a great introduction to SE Asia and travelling solo for first time and I would definitely book with Intrepid again.
Review submitted 07 Feb 2024

Jennifer · Traveled January 2024
I booked this trip based on the itinerary and positive experience of others. The itinerary delivered on what it said but the trip was somewhat of a letdown in some respects. Group size of 16 is too big and we had to use two minibuses when traveling - naturally that splits the group up too much. Accommodation was hit or miss. The biggest letdown though was what little communication and information we got from our tour leader and that makes all the difference when going on these trips.
Review submitted 30 Jan 2024

Lisa · Traveled January 2024
This is a great trip with a wide range of activities to fully experience Northern Thailand and Laos. There is a good balance of activities and free time, so whilst the trip can feel fast-paced there was also time to unwind, particularly along the Mekong boat trip. Particular highlights were the cooking course in Chiang Mai, the Elephant experience, Luang Prabang and the waterfall. The food was amazing throughout and standard of accommodation was decent considering the cost of the trip. Highly recommend!
Review submitted 22 Jan 2024

SUSAN · Traveled January 2024
My husband, son and I recently had a two week Intrepid tour of Thailand and Laos. This was our fist Intrepid tour but it definitely won’t be the last. We had a fantastic tour guide, Ben, who was so organized we didn’t need to worry about a thing. We were so very impressed with the activities we did, the places we visited and the accommodation. Thanks Intrepid Tours!
Review submitted 25 Jan 2024

Rima · Traveled January 2024
The itinerary delivered memorable moments like the fantastic long boat ride and engaging elephant experience. However, hotel standards and breakfasts fell short, especially at the People's Palace. The guides in Laos stood out positively, but the uncomfortable overnight train highlighted the need for more efficient travel. The trip guide, brought enthusiasm and organisation, though their motherly approach and confusing explanations presented challenges at times. Despite this, their approachability added a positive touch. In conclusion, while the journey had its highlights, improvements in accommodation, food, and trip organisation could enhance the overall experience.
Review submitted 15 Jan 2024
Thailand & Laos Adventure
From
GBP £1,155