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Thailand and Laos

Marry History and Culture with striking scenery! - Trip for singles

Book From   € 1,499,-
GROUP SIZE: 6-24 | 20 DAYS

Thailand and Laos

Here you can find the day-to-day description for Thailand and Laos

Highlights

There's plenty to do in this beautiful region. Select below or on the map opposite, the highlight you want to read more information about. Read through carefully and then go directly to the tour description.
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Bangkok

Bangkok

Discover Bangkok in a special way. Call a Tuk Tuk and take part in the chaotic traffic. |Thailand

Boloven Plateau

Boloven Plateau

Here you can go on beautiful hiking tours. You'll be in for many surprises in the shape of amazing water falls situated here.| Laos

Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai is a small, peaceful village with two interesting temples and some markets and museums.

Chiang Khong

Chiang Khong

Chiang Kong is a border town in the North of Thailand.

Pak Beng

Pak Beng

Pak Beng is a little town with only one main street. On this street, you'll find lots of restaurants, most of them impressively situated at the Mekong. |Laos

Nong Khiaw

Phonsavan

Phonsavan

In Phonsavan you'll see the remains of the many fights that took place here.| Laos

Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng

Starting in Vang Vien you can make fantastic biking tours. You are out of the city in no time and you find yourself in the countryside with clay houses and strangely formed karst mountains. |Laos

Vientiane

Vientiane

When you're in Ventiane, you should definitely visit the Wat Pha-That Luang temple. This golden temple is worth a visit.| Laos

Koh Chang

Day to Day description

Transport Route Overnight stay
1 Arrive Bangkok Bangkok
2 Plane Bangkok - Chiang Rai Chiang Rai
3 Bus Chiang Rai/Foodie tour - Chiang Khong Chiang Khong
4 Boat, Bus Chiang Khong - Huay Xai - Pakbeng Pakbeng
5 Boat Pakbeng - Luang Prabang Luang Prabang
6 Luang Prabang Luang Prabang
7 Luang Prabang Luang Prabang
8 Bus Luang Prabang - Nong Khiaw Nong Khiaw
9 Nong Khiaw Nong Khiaw
10 Bus Nong Khiaw - Phonsavan Phonsavan
11 Phonsavan/Excursion Plain of Jars Phonsavan
12 Bus Phonsavan - Vang Vieng Vang Vieng
13 Vang Vieng Vang Vieng
14 Bus Vang Vieng - Vientiane Vientiane
15 Train Vientiane - Bangkok Night train to Bangkok
16 Bus, Ferry Bangkok - Koh Chang Koh Chang
17 Koh Chang Koh Chang
18 Koh Chang Koh Chang
19 Koh Chang Koh Chang
20 Bus, Ferry Koh Chang - Bangkok End of tour - Bangkok

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Day 1: Arrive Bangkok

Welcome to Thailand!

Your tour starts in Bangkok, where you can use your hotel room from check in time (12.00 hrs at noon) on day 1. Your travel companions will also arrive this first day, the exact time will be depending on their flight schedule. You will meet your English speaking tour leader at 12.00 hrs noon on day 1 in the lobby of your hotel in Bangkok.

You are in the bustling city of Bangkok, the ‘City of Angels’ where you can explore this amazing vibrant city of contrast and colour. Stop at simple roadside fast food stands, shop in enormous shopping centres, visit one of the many Wats (temples) such as Wat Po, Wat Arun and Wat Saket.

How green can you go? TIP

Go on a unique bike ride along green klongs (canals), immerse yourself in the busy Chinese district or go on a long-tail boat ride. Our expert tour guides will accompany you and give tips and advice.

Day 2: Bangkok - Chiang Rai

This morning, after breakfast, you depart for the airport for the short flight to Chiang Rai
After arriving at your hotel in Chiang Rai you have the rest of the day at leisure. We recommend getting out and exploring the buzzing night market

Day 3: Chiang Rai/Foodie tour - Chiang Khong

Later this morning you depart for the ‘foodie tour’. This culinary and cultural tour of Chiang Rai is included in the trip. You will enjoy tasting delicious Thai cuisine and learn about Thai culture and local history. This guided tour includes a variety of mouth-watering food tasting sessions (enough for lunch or dinner), from Thai and ethnic specialty eateries, renowned street food stalls, to historic fine dining restaurants.

During the afternoon, you continue driving North and reach the border town of Chiang Khong before sunset (100kms, approx. 2hr drive). After arrival at the hotel, spend the rest of the evening at leisure.

Our Projects

In collaboration with our local agents, Shoestring supports a number of projects with a financial contribution. Since our suppliers play a major role in maintaining and supporting these projects, we know that these contributions are allocated effectively.
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Day 4: Chiang Khong - Huay Xai - Pakbeng

This morning, after breakfast, we transfer down to the pier to board the slow boat to Pakbeng where we stay for the evening. We spend around 6 hours travelling up the mighty Mekong River, passing beautiful scenery and local village life along the way. The Mekong River is the life-source of the Indochina region, and a journey along its timeless waterways offers a different way to see the country. Overnight in Pakbeng in a delightful hotel with views over the delta. Tonight you will have a free evening.

Day 5: Pakbeng - Luang Prabang

This morning we continue our journey by slow boat  to Luang Prabang. On the way we stop to visit the Pak Ou caves (entrance fee included) before arriving in the late afternoon in Luang Prabang.

Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage town famed for its beautiful temples, and there are plenty of exciting activities available in the surrounding countryside as well. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel and you are then free to explore.

How green can you go? TIP

The evening night market is a must-see, and some delicious street food is available here.

Day 6: Luang Prabang

A completely free day to explore to your heart’s content. Luang Prabang boasts some exceptional handicrafts and local boutiques. It is a small enough town to cycle around and has plenty of traditional massage and spa offerings. Day trips can be arranged if booked in advance.

Day 7: Luang Prabang

Today you are again free to look around Luang Prabang. If you rise early you can go to see the monks gather their alms along the side of the street. The women have baskets of rice and vegetables ready and they put a handful in the basket of each monk.

If you want to break from seeing temples then you can go alone or with the group and visit the Kuang Si waterfalls, around 45 mins away by taxi or moped. The waterfalls are beautiful as is the route. Close to Luang Prabang there are some villages where fabrics are woven with traditional colours and motifs.

In the evening there are several restaurants that serve the specialty of Luang Prabang, delicious watercress salad. By ten o'clock however, the city is already quiet and after eleven you will find the street almost completely deserted.

What can I do?

Sustainable travel means taking into account the people, nature and culture so that travel remains possible in the future. The negative effects of tourism are increasingly palpable. 'So what can I do?', you may ask. Shoestring gives you 10 tips. Read More

Day 8: Luang Prabang - Nong Khiaw

Continue today through the Laotian countryside to Nong Khiaw. Laos is as large as Britain and home to nearly 7 million people, mostly living in villages alongside goat tracks in the jungle. Along the way you will experience this. It is strange being in the middle of Asia in a country less developed in many ways than, say, Ethiopia or Zambia. After arriving in Nong Khiaw you are free to do as you please.

The small, sleepy Nong Khiaw, is located on the banks of the Nam Ou. Since it really is not much more than a few streets it is hardly a village; there are only a few restaurants and guesthouses. Mass tourism is unknown in Nong Khiaw. Good for us though because the landscape is one of the most scenic in all of Asia!

Day 9: Nong Khiaw

Free day. You can relax in Nong Khiaw and get a taste of the daily lives of the majority of the Lao population. The surrounding environment is the main attraction; where you can go hiking or kayaking.

Enthusiasts can (if the water allows) take a boat trip on the Nam Ou to the village of Muang Ngoi. The views are stunning, with the typical karst mountains of Laos, often shrouded in a veil of mist. Muang Ngoi is a small village with one main street. From Muang Ngoi you can walk to the nearby caves. It is also pleasant to sit out with a book on the river, go for a swim or play games with the children of the village. Often you see children taking rides on their favourite water buffalo. And of course, it is always interesting to have nice ‘hand-and-feet conversations’ with the friendly locals.

Day 10: Nong Khiaw - Phonsavan

Onwards you travel to Phonsavan, a provincial town in the hilly northeastern region of Laos. It is a long trip on a less than perfect road with many bumps and holes. You travel through the rustic "country" with its small villages and scenic views. Phonsavan acts mainly as a base to visit the special Plain of Jars. From 1975 it was named Phonsavan, which literally means 'heaven on earth'. The new name gives hope to the Laotians after the entire area was bombed during the Vietnam War in the seventies.

Day 11: Phonsavan/Excursion Plain of Jars

Today you will visit the Plain of Jars (entrance fee included), one of the most remarkable sights of Laos. Here you will find more than 400 stone vessels with sizes ranging between 40 cm and over 2 meters. The origin of these jars remains a mystery. Were they perhaps urns or maybe tombs? In all likelihood it will forever stay a mystery. Sites 1 and 3, according to many travellers, are the most rewarding. Some of the jars are more than 2000 years old and weigh up to 6 tons!

Day 12: Phonsavan - Vang Vieng

You'll travel today to Vang Vieng. This is a town that in recent years has become popular, thanks to its fantastic location. The setting is gorgeous: with trees and bushes covering karst mountains that rise out of the landscape into whimsical shapes. Vang Vieng has the feel of a real backpackers’ resort, with cosy restaurants and cafes in this "village on the river."

Sustainable travel

As a responsible company our mission is to increase and improve sustainability in our business. Find out more about the measures that we currently take as well as our further plans to ensure we achieve our green ambitions. Read More

Day 13: Vang Vieng

Free day. Some of the mountains around Vang Vieng have caves that you can visit, such as the Tham Phou Kham cave, about 6 km outside the village. The cave consists of a huge room with some side corridors, in which a bronze Buddha statue stands. After a visit you can cool off in the clear blue river at the bottom of the cave.

It is nice to go kayaking on the Nam Xong River, a tributary of the Mekong. You can also go tubing here, where you relax in an inflated tube as you float down the river. Always try to rent the tubes together with other people. When the water level is high, the river can be dangerous.

Day 14: Vang Vieng - Vientiane

You will spend this morning at leisure before travelling to Vientiane in the afternoon. Then you have the rest of the day free to explore what has got to be one of the most relaxed capitals in Asia. Home to an array of temples, an afternoon can easily be whiled away studying Laos historic past. If you are interested in more modern history, the COPE Visitor Centre offers an insight into the ‘Secret War’ and its legacy 40 years on. Guided tours of the city can be arranged if booked in advance.

Day 15: Vientiane - Bangkok

After some more time to enjoy Vientiane, you transfer to Thanalang Train Station and board the night train to Bangkok. You will have a 2nd class ticket in this A/C sleeper train.

Day 16: Bangkok - Koh Chang

After arriving in Bangkok, transfer by bus to South Thailand and further by ferry to the beautiful tropical island of Koh Chang. Here you can relax and take in all the impressions of the past weeks.

Day 17: Koh Chang

Free day. On Koh Chang you have plenty of time to swim, snorkel (best from late October to May) and sunbathe. Moreover, you can go for beautiful walks along the coast and in the jungle-covered interior of the island. Fans of "seafood" can indulge in the abundance of fresh fish and shrimp.

Day 18: Koh Chang

Another Free day on the island of Koh Chang. Our advice? Treat yourself and order a tropical cocktail before retiring to the beach. Enjoy the (hopefully) great weather and don’t forget the underwater world. In the evening you can enjoy a beautiful sunset over the sea.

Day 19: Koh Chang

Free day on the island of Koh Chang. Do you want to explore the island? A visit to the Khlong Phlu waterfall is a good option! It is tucked away in the tropical rain forest. Do not forget your swimming gear for a refreshing splash in the pool below the waterfall - lovely!

Day 20: Koh Chang - Bangkok

The last day of your tour. You will travel back by ferry and by bus to Bangkok where the tour will conclude at the airport. Travel time will be approximately 6 hours so please ensure to book your flight accordingly. We wish you a comfortable journey home and are sure you will take with you some wonderful memories of Thailand and Laos.

Your personal ‘my.shoestring’ page on our website is the perfect way to make contact with other travellers before and after your trip. You can read and create journals from trips and upload your photos onto the photo gallery. Visit my shoestring today.

When booking your tour, please check to see whether you need any post-tour nights, bearing in mind that accommodation for the night of the final day of the tour (day 20) is not included.

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