The meeting time and place for this trip is on Day 1 at 17:30 in the rooftop bar of River View Bangkok Hotel in Bangkok (Thailand).
Day 1: Bangkok, Thailand
- Arrive in Bangkok to meet your group and adventure leader who will provide you with your trip briefing.
- Get to know your new travel companions over dinner and drinks in an idyllic rooftop bar with stunning views.
- After dinner head to the sleeper train to kick start your journey! Your train will depart at 7.35PM from the station – so don’t be late!
Day 2: Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Wake up to see the stunning scenery your train will be passing through before you arrive in Chiang Mai, the 700-year-old cultural capital of Northern Thailand.
- Spend the morning at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, an ecotourism project set-up by The Karen Hilltribes Trust. Feed, walk and wash the elephants.
- After, we head straight to the hostel (with a pool) to check in.
- Once refreshed, check out the city’s food market for dinner and live music.
- Optional: In the evening, learn how to cook authentic Thai dishes. (£20)
Day 3: Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Explore the city’s dozens of temples and cultural delights. For the thrill seekers amongst you, get your adrenaline fix on one of the optional adventure activities.
- Optional: Go zip lining, drive a quad bike, or go rafting down the Mae Taeng River. (£25 each)
- In the evening, witness a Muay Thai kickboxing match and see two fighters go at each other fist to foot. (£8)
- For our first night out in the town, head to the iconic Chiang Mai bar, ‘Zoe in Yellow.’
Day 4: Chiang Dao, Thailand
- Get picked up for a short drive to the countryside where you will cycle through Northern Thai Villages on the outskirts of Chiang Mai.
- Go off the beaten track and hike through the thick jungle to a waterfall that, to this day, remains wonderfully untouched by the outside world.
- Stay overnight in a local settlement of tree top houses in Chiang Dao for one of the best stargazing experiences. (Chiang Dao translated means ‘City of Stars’)
Day 5: Chiang Dao, Thailand
- Wake up to an incredible sunrise looking out over the Thai countryside.
- We will drive back to Chiang Mai in time for breakfast and then hop on the bus to Chiang Kong.
- On the way, we will stop at Wat Rong Khun (White Temple). It’s a traditional temple with a contemporary twist after its renovation by a local artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat. (£1)
- After checking into the hostel, spend the evening slipping into the backpacker vibe with a few cold ones.
Day 6: Mekong River, Laos
- Make the boat crossing into Laos for the next leg of your adventure tour.
- To get to the boat, we will go on a short bus drive where you will have the chance to grab some snacks before setting off on your boat journey.
- Board the slow boat at midday and begin your ride down the Mekong River. It’s a slow paced (the clue’s in the name) way to travel and makes a change from the buses. Take the chance to relax, have a few beers and smile at the water buffalo as you pass them by.
- At 6 pm we will arrive in Pakbeng village. Giving you enough time to wander around and sample the local delicacy of ‘buffalo curry.’
Day 7: Luang Prabang, Laos
- With some of the slow boat journey still to go, be sure to pick up some Pakbeng sandwiches, a cultural remnant from French occupation.
- Arrive at Luang Prabang at 4:30 pm where you will be picked and taken to your accommodation.
- Spend the evening at Hmong Market and enjoy drinks on the river, watching the sunset.
Day 8: Luang Prabang, Laos
- Spend the morning at the Big Brother Mouse volunteering program, interact with local children who are learning to speak English and develop your understanding of Laos’s culture.
- OPTIONAL: Learn about ‘the farm to table process’ of making rice at the Rice Experience farm. (£24)
- Spend the afternoon at Kuang Si Falls, made up of three tiers and the biggest in the Luang Prabang area. Jump in, slide down, and prepare to get very wet!
Day 9: Vang Vieng, Laos
- In the morning, it’s time to head off to Vang Vieng.
- You’ll arrive at about 4 pm and have some time to wander around this backpacker paradise.
Day 10: Vang Vieng, Laos
- Optional: Make sure you equip yourself with your LED headlamps for this activity. Spend the morning exploring Tham Phu Kham Cave and, for the more daring amongst you, swim in the dark by switching off your headlights, an eerie but thrilling experience. (£5)
- In the afternoon, take a dip in the Blue Lagoon and have a go at rock climbing. Later on, explore the surrounding area and bars by tubing. A hedonistic backpacking classic. Grab an inflatable and relax as you float downstream. (£6)
Day 11: Hanoi, Vietnam
- In the morning take a bus journey to the airport to fly out to Hanoi, moving onto Vietnam.
- After landing, take a bus into town and arrive at the hostel at 6:30 pm.
- Join in the free bar crawl, which heads around the city’s Old Quarter.
Day 12: Hanoi, Vietnam
- Last day of your 12-day adventure tour, make sure to make the most of it!
- Optional: Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum (£1.50) and learn about the communist party of Vietnam. Afterwards, take a chance to see the other side of the nation’s history with a visit to the ancient Hanoi Citadel, used by Imperial emperors (£1.50).
- Optional: End the tour at the Temple of Literature, the city’s main temple (£1.50).
- Time to bid farewell to your group and continue your independent travel.