Last Minute Deal Intrepid | Real Thailand & Laos

This 13-day exploration of the Southeast Asian countryside will keep you guessing at every turn. Kick off in old Bangkok, wind through northern Thailand with some good times in Chiang Mai and then cross the border into Laos, where you’ll be able to see the authentic side of this landlocked country. Cruise on the mighty Mekong, laze in the beautiful Luang Prabang, explore a natural paradise in Vang Vieng and finish up in sleepy Vientiane. From cycling tours and sunset hikes to heaps of free time to go cave exploring, get a massage or donate some food to a procession of monks – this trip shows you so many sides of Thailand and Laos that you never knew.

Theme

18 to 35s

  • Highlights

    • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, MandaLao Elephant Conservation. Donations help them promote ethical elephant care and create local employment opportunities in communities in Laos.
    • Chill out in chilled Laos with loads of free time to explore at your own pace. Give food to a procession of monks at dawn, explore Kuang Si Waterfalls for a refreshing swim or go kayaking on the gorgeous Nam So River.
    • Cruise down the Mekong River in a traditional-style boat – a classic favourite in Southeast Asia for good reason. Take in the overhanding reeds and enjoy more photo-ops than you can shake a bamboo cane at.
    • Explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Luang Prabang – between the French villas and the blazing sunsets over the Mekong, you won't know which way to look!
    • From the nightlife and delicious cuisine of Bangkok to cycling and bar hopping in Chaing Mai – northern Thailand will kick off your epic adventure the right way (zipline anyone?).
    • Head out on a sunset hike to Wat Phu Si in Luang Prabang for some pretty epic views over Phu Si Mountain. After the sun descends, head to Talad Mued Night Market for a BBQ feast – a local favourite.
  • What's Included

    Meals

    9 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

    Transport

    Public bus , Slow boat , Private vehicle , Songthaew , Tuk-tuk , Train

    Accommodation

    Guesthouse (8 nights), Hotel (3 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

    Included Activities

    • Bangkok - Chinatown walking tour
    • Luang Prabang - Alms giving ceremony
    • Luang Prabang – Mekong River Cruise (Half Day)
    • Luang Prabang - orientation walk
    • Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Caves
    • Luang Prabang - Talad Mued Night Market
    • Luang Prabang – Wat Phu Si Sunset Hike
    • Muang Ngern – Local Village Visit
    • Nan – Orientation Tour
    • Pua – Hand Weaving Demonstration
    • Vientiane - COPE visit
    • Vientiane - Leader orientation walk
    • Vientiane - Wat Si Saket
  • Pricing

      • Start Date
      • End Date
      • Price
      • Availability
      • Start Date:2 Apr 24
      • End Date:14 Apr 24
      • Price:$1,394
      • Availability:6 spaces
      • Enquire
      • Book now and receive a discount. Was $1,640. Now only $1,394 for this departure

      • Start Date:11 Jun 24
      • End Date:23 Jun 24
      • Price:$1,655
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:2 Jul 24
      • End Date:14 Jul 24
      • Price:$1,705
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:10 Sep 24
      • End Date:22 Sep 24
      • Price:$1,640
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:15 Oct 24
      • End Date:27 Oct 24
      • Price:$1,705
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:5 Nov 24
      • End Date:17 Nov 24
      • Price:$1,785
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:26 Nov 24
      • End Date:8 Dec 24
      • Price:$1,805
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:17 Dec 24
      • End Date:29 Dec 24
      • Price:$1,770
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
    Please note: while prices are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to currency fluctuations and currency surcharges may apply. Please check price at time of booking
  • Itinerary

    Day - 1

    Location: Bangkok - Sawasdee! Welcome to Thailand. Your adventure begins in the bustling hub of Bangkok with a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight. If you arrive early, maybe get to grips with this awesome city and take a walk around Khao San Road or head to the magnificent Grand Palace. As one of the world’s largest marketplaces, Chatuchak Market is also a great place to practice your haggling and pick up some bargains. Tonight, maybe head out for dinner with your newfound travel companions and hit the nightlife to celebrate the start of an epic adventure.

     

    Day - 2

    Location: Bangkok - Overnight Train - Today, explore some of Bangkok's oldest neighbourhoods on a walking tour with your leader. Wander through Chinatown and along the way, maybe stop by some food stalls on Sukorn Alley for some snacks. Visit Wat Mangkon Kamalawat – home to 58 gods, this is said to be one of the most sacred sites in the area. Offer prayers to the Chinese gods, take your time in this sacred place surrounded by gold statues and red lanterns and then finish with a walk through the bustling daytime Sampeng wholesale market. You’ll have an included lunch at the famous Labour Egg Noodle, so tuck into some Fish Ball Noodles or Tom Yam Pork Noodles. The rest of the afternoon is free to do what you like, until your overnight train this evening.

     

    Day - 3

    Location: Chiang Mai - Arrive in Chiang Mai in the morning. The day is yours to choose your own adventure – see how many (or how little) activities you can pack into your day. You’ll stay in a centrally located guesthouse so you’re close to all the action. You can set off on an excursion to the top of Doi Suthep – there are a few hundred steps to climb here, but the views are well worth it – or maybe treat yourself to a traditional Thai massage. You could also take a cooking class so you can impress your friends in the kitchen when you get home. Tonight, check out the night bazaar and practice your bargaining skills. Your leader will also be available to take you and the gang on a bar-hopping adventure around the Nimman area – a trendy neighbourhood full of jazz bars and lounges.

     

    Day - 4

    Location: Chiang Mai - Another free day, another chance to get your fill of Chiang Mai, with a bunch of optional activities to do. In the morning, maybe learn one of the legendary martial arts – Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) with a 1.5-hour class learning the basics with professional trainers. You’ll be shown how to adapt to be the weapon and how to guard - is there a better way to spend a morning? You could also go ziplining, white water rafting or cycling around the area if you’re feeling active. Maybe just wander around the many temples on offer and end the day with a relaxing massage.

     

    Day - 5

    Location: Nan - This morning after breakfast, take a local bus to Nan. When you arrive, take the chance to refresh at your hotel before heading out to explore the town. Along the way, visit Wat Phumin – Nan’s most famous wat (a sacred Buddhist precinct, home to a temple, a Buddha and an educational facility). This wat was constructed in 1596 and was restored during the reign of Chao Ananta Vora Ritthi Det. The rest of the evening is free to explore at your own pace.

     

    Day - 6

    Location: Pua - This morning is free to explore Nan how you like. If you want to grab some local bites for lunch, your leader is always on hand with the best recommendations. You’ll have the option today of visiting a gallery by the Nan River, where you can have a coffee and view modern art by local Thai artists. Later, travel to the Pua District and visit a hand-weaving centre and the local woman who started this enterprise inspired by modern design. Learn how she stays true to her Tai Lue roots and helps to provide employment opportunities for the women in the community. See their beautiful craft of handwoven textiles and then explore the village of Pua. Tonight, you’ll head to the evening market with your leader, with the option to go out for dinner at a local restaurant.

     

    Day - 7

    Location: Luang Prabang - Travel through the rural countryside this morning to the border into Laos. After border formalities, you’ll stop at the local village of Muang Ngeun – a small district in Xayaburi Province. The Tai-Lue and Nan people make most of their income through cotton weaving here as well, but in a different style to Thailand. Explore the local Buddhist temple and see the outskirts of Laos before continuing to Luang Prabang. When you arrive, head out on a leader-led orientation walk of ‘the best-preserved city in Southeast Asia’ (the local government started using this phrase, but it caught on for a reason). Tonight, you’ll hike up to Wat Phu Si for sunset. As the sun goes down, witness some epic views over Phu Si Mountain and then head to the Talad Mued Night Market for dinner. Enjoy a local BBQ feast (Sindad is the art of grilling meat on a hot pan – a type of traditional BBQ set on a charcoal stove that has a surrounding rim full of boiling water for blanching vegetables) and toast to a great night.

     

    Day - 8

    Location: Luang Prabang - Today, you’ll head out on a boat for a gorgeous half-day exploration on the Mekong River – the world's twelfth-longest river and the third-longest in Asia. Cruise past stunning riverside scenery and distant mountains, among overhanding reeds. Stop to stretch your legs and explore the Pak Ou Caves, which contain hundreds of Buddha statues. After a gorgeous day, the rest of the afternoon is free to explore Luang Prabang. Maybe head to the Kuang Si Waterfall and round out your day full of natural beauty with a refreshing swim in nature.

     

    Day - 9

    Location: Luang Prabang - Today is a free day in Luang Prabang. Maybe take a tuk-tuk to visit Wat Xieng Thong – this temple was built in the 16th century under the patronage of the royal family, and the Laotian kings were crowned here. The main viharn (assembly hall) and buildings have carved gilded wooden doors depicting scenes from Buddha's life. Otherwise, just wander the streets and take photos of the lush greenery and beautiful buildings. You can also take a hike on Mt Phu Si or take on a cooking class and meet some new friends as you gain some skills.

     

    Day - 10

    Location: Vang Vieng - It’s worth getting up early this morning to view the procession of saffron-robed monks on their daily outing collecting alms – a practice that dates back centuries. The people of the town wait out in front of their houses with food for the monks to collect and take back to the temple. This is done early in the morning as the monks cannot eat anything after midday. The rest of the day is free until your late afternoon train to Vang Vieng. Maybe cruise around town or mingle with the locals at the markets. For lunch, you might want to try some delicious noodle soup at one of the top-notch French cafes along the main drag. Later, you’ll take a transfer to the train station and then jump on a high-speed train to your destination. This beautifully located adventure gateway lies on a bend in the Nam Song. Take in the views of mountains, rivers and big limestone cliffs that are so close you'll feel like you could reach out and touch them.

     

    Day - 11

    Location: Vang Vieng - Today is a free day to explore Vang Vieng however you like – this natural paradise has no shortage of fun activities! Maybe cross the river and explore the huge caves that line the West Bank – Tham Poukham cave has a blue-green lagoon and a reclining Buddha statue that’s well worth a look – or take a cycling tour of the town. You can also go kayaking on the Nam Song River or explore the nearby 16th and 17th century monasteries. With hiking, ballooning and boating options in this gorgeous area, the day is your oyster.

     

    Day - 12

    Location: Vientiane - After breakfast this morning, you’ll take a private bus to Vientiane – Laos’ classy capital. Swap your instant coffee and white rice for a latte and a baguette before snapping a few pics at Wat Si Saket – the oldest temple still standing in Vientiane and home to almost 7000 Buddha images. Your trip leader will show you around this chic, French-influenced city and take you to COPE – an organisation dedicated to assisting those who have been injured or affected by the shocking number of unexploded ordnances (UXOs) in the countryside. UXOs are explosive weapons, such as bombs and grenades that still pose a risk after they were used. About 30% of Laos remains contaminated with UXOs from the Vietnam War and poses a serious risk to residents. COPE provides prosthetics and other assistance to people affected by this devastating war history. Grab some dinner with your travel mates tonight, and explore what Vientiane has to offer on Quai Fa Ngum Road.

     

    Day - 13

    Location: Vientiane - With no further activities planned, your adventure comes to an end today. If you want to spend more time in Laos, just speak to your booking agent.

     

    Real Thailand & Laos
*Terms and Conditions
Offer subject to availability at time of booking. Prices are per person share twin based on best available tour price, inclusive of all discounts unless otherwise stated. Prices are subject to currency fluctuations and are based on cash or cheque. Tour deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions may apply. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry.
HLO Ref# 12886
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