12-day Backpacking Tour of Thailand and Laos | The Dragon Trip

12-day Backpacking Tour of Thailand and Laos

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12 days - £649

Embrace Southeast Asia’s wealth of unforgettable experiences on our 12-day adventure tour of Thailand and Laos (finishing in Hanoi, Vietnam). It's an action packed adventure designed to feed the wanderlust of 18 to 30 year-olds. Our adventure leaders will guide you around the region’s hidden gems and major highlights so you can get the most out of your trip. Sleep in the ‘City of Stars’ in the mountains of Chiang Dao, explore the Tham Phu Kam cave and go water-rafting in Chiang Mai. Curious to find out more? Use the chat on the right hand of your screen to speak to our experts or enquire below to book your incredible Southeast Asian experience!

Itinerary

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Day 1: Bangkok, Thailand

Arrive in this vibrant Asian metropolis to meet your group and adventure leader. Enjoy dinner and drinks in an idyllic rooftop bar and watch the sunset across the cityscape before boarding the sleeper train to kick-start your trip.

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Day 2–3: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Head to Chiang Mai, an ancient capital of Thailand and a refreshing contrast to Bangkok. Witness the city’s surviving heritage, experience the bustling food markets, visit the elephant sanctuary, and explore the surrounding area on quad-bikes.

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Day 4-5: Chiang Dao, Thailand

Trek in the surrounding area of Chiang Dao, or ‘Little Tuscany’, as it has been nicknamed with good reason. Hike through its thick jungles and make a stop at a hidden waterfall. Stay overnight in a local settlement of tree top houses for an incredible stargazing experience.

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Day 6: Mekong River, Laos

Much of Laos remains unspoiled by the modern world. Begin your journey through this culturally rich republic on a boat flowing down the Mekong River. Sit back, relax and admire your surroundings as you pass through the heart of Laos.

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Day 7–8: Luang Prabang, Laos

Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famed for its exceptionally preserved temples, rich culture and cascaded waterfalls. Take a dip in the turquoise pools of Kuang Si Falls and speak with local children to help develop their English skills.

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Day 9-10: Vang Vieng, Laos

Travel 105 miles north to find yourself in the backpackers’ heaven of Vang Vieng. The village remains a popular stop for travellers to recharge while offering plenty of adventurous activities. Swim in the Blue Lagoon 2 and have a go at tubing.

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Day 11-12: Hanoi, Vietnam

Get swept away by the romance of Hanoi, home to French architecture and lush forestry. Explore the Old Quarter and visit the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, a UNESCO site. Before bidding farewell to the group.

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 at 5pm.
  • 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 treetop 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.
  • 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 6pm you will arrive in Pakbeng village. Meet your Adventure Leader at the pier and walk to your accommodation. Enjoy 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 4:30pm 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.
  • Head to Blue Lagoon 2 where you can swim in the refreshing waters and relax in the sun.
  • Transfer to the hostel at about 5pm and check in.
  • Enjoy a free evening to relax or explore this backpacker paradise

Day 10: Vang Vieng, Laos

  • Optional: Try your hand at rock climbing or take a biking tour of the area, followed by a hike up to Pha Ngern Viewpoint for breath-taking views.
  • Later on, explore the surrounding area and bars by tubing along the Mekong River. A hedonistic backpacking classic. Grab an inflatable and relax as you float downstream. (£6)
  • Enjoy some free time in the evening to further explore the wonders Vang Vieng at night.

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 6:30pm.
  • 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).
  • Optional activities will finish at approx. 10pm. Time to bid farewell to your group and continue your independent travel.

Departures Dates

Departing Finishing Price Status
22nd Nov, 2018 3rd Dec, 2018 £649 FULLY BOOKED
7th Jan, 2019 18th Jan, 2019 £649 FULLY BOOKED
15th Jan, 2019 26th Jan, 2019 £649 FULLY BOOKED
11th Feb, 2019 22nd Feb, 2019 £649
25th Feb, 2019 8th Mar, 2019 £649
7th Mar, 2019 18th Mar, 2019 £649
18th Mar, 2019 29th Mar, 2019 £649
1st Apr, 2019 12th Apr, 2019 £649
15th Apr, 2019 26th Apr, 2019 £649
25th Apr, 2019 6th May, 2019 £649
6th May, 2019 17th May, 2019 £649
20th May, 2019 31st May, 2019 £649
3rd Jun, 2019 14th Jun, 2019 £649
17th Jun, 2019 28th Jun, 2019 £649
1st Jul, 2019 12th Jul, 2019 £649
8th Jul, 2019 19th Jul, 2019 £649
15th Jul, 2019 26th Jul, 2019 £649
22nd Jul, 2019 2nd Aug, 2019 £649
29th Jul, 2019 9th Aug, 2019 £649
12th Aug, 2019 23rd Aug, 2019 £649
26th Aug, 2019 6th Sep, 2019 £649
16th Sep, 2019 27th Sep, 2019 £649
7th Oct, 2019 18th Oct, 2019 £649
28th Oct, 2019 8th Nov, 2019 £649
18th Nov, 2019 29th Nov, 2019 £649
  • A deposit is required to make a reservation, with the balance due 60 days prior to departure (unless booking with one of our promotions, for which specific balance due dates may apply). The deposit is £200 GBP / $300 USD / €300 EUR.
  • Looking for assistance booking pre/post trip accommodation? Just let us know what you need!
  • For customers making payment from the UK: please note that when you are making a payment into our US dollar account you must request your bank to send the money directly to our US dollar account at HSBC UK. Otherwise they may use an intermediary bank resulting in an added wiring fee charged to you of $25.00.
  • If you would like to alter your trip itinerary from the one provided to you by us then please contact us more than 60 days before your trip departs so that we can make your trip the perfect one for you! When you tell us, we can relay all information to our on the ground staff and make the appropriate arrangements.
  • The price of a single room upgrade for the trip is £179 ($219) and a double or twin room upgrade is £159 ($199) per person.

Meeting time and place details

  • 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).

Food

Food is included in the price on the following days:
  • Chiang Dao:
    Day 4 – Lunch and dinner Day 5 - Breakfast
  • Slow Boat:
    Day 6 - Breakfast Day 7 – Breakfast and Lunch
  • Luang Prabang:
    Day 8 & 9 - Breakfast
  • Vang Vieng:
    Day 10 & 11 - Breakfast
  • Hanoi:
    Day 12 - Breakfast

To book or find out more, contact us

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