Classic Thailand with Luang Phrabang, Laos 16 days / 14 nights

Validity: 01 November 2018 – 31 October 2019

Begin with a city and temple tour of Bangkok, a fascinating mix of ancient and modern. Full day at leisure to explore Bangkok on your own. The optional morning tour of Wat Phra Kaew. Buffet Dinner and stunning performance of the “Journey to the Enchanted Kingdom of Siam”. Depart Bangkok to Ayutthaya. Visit Bang Pa-In Palace, a collection of beautiful buildings in various architectural styles. Travel to Chiang Mai and explore the city independently. Travel to Chiang Rai and continue to Mae Sai Border Town & Golden Triangle. Transfer to  Huey Xai & Cruise to Pakbeng (crossing the Thai – Laos Friendship Bridge). Full day to explore Luang Prabang. Enjoy the beautiful sights in this city.

Excursion Description

DAY 1 : Depart for Thailand
Depart for Thailand

DAY 2 : Arrive in Bangkok
Arrive in exotic Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city; transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to rest, relax and acclimate to the new time zone
Overnight: Bangkok

DAY 3 : Bangkok City Tour (B / – / D)
Orientation meeting this morning with your Tour Manager highlights the exciting journey that awaits you. Afterwards, continue on a city and temple tour of Bangkok, a fascinating mix of ancient and modern. Begin the tour at Chinatown and then on to the colorful Indian Market. Visit serene Wat Po, the oldest and largest temple in the city, with the astonishing giant Reclining Buddha, over 150 feet long and almost 40 feet high. Drive to Royal Avenue where most of the Government offices are located and the King’s Palace before returning to your hotel. Tonight, dinner at a local restaurant with entertainment, including a performance of Khon-traditional Thai dance.
Overnight: Bangkok
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

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DAY 4 : Full Day in Bangkok (B / – / -)
Full day at leisure to explore Bangkok on your own. Or, don’t miss the optional morning tour of Wat Phra Kaew, also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the elaborate 18th century Grand Palace, symbol and ceremonial heart of the kingdom – together they form the most impressive sights in Bangkok. Despite the proximity of the two, there’s a distinct contrast in style between the Thai-inspired Wat Phra Kaew and the European design of the Grand Palace. In the evening, attend the optional Buffet Dinner and stunning performance of the “Journey to the Enchanted Kingdom of Siam”. Boasting over 150 performers, this lavish production delves into Siam’s history and culture
Optional: Half Day Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha (AM)
Optional: Siam Niramit Show & Dinner (PM)
Overnight: Bangkok
Meals: Breakfast

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DAY 5 : Bangkok / Travel to Ayutthaya (B / L / D)
Depart Bangkok to Ayutthaya, the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai for over 400 years, once glorified as one of the largest cities in Southeast Asia. Ayutthaya Historical Park, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies in the center of the city. Here, you can see the ruins of the former capital and its remaining palaces, monasteries and towers – one can envision the grandeur and splendor that was once the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. Visit Bang Pa-In Palace, a collection of beautiful buildings in various architectural styles, surrounded by a lake. Originally built by King Prasat Tong in 1632, Bang Pa-In served as the Royal Summer Palace for the Thai Kings. Continue to the Chai Wattanaram Temple, built by King Prasat Tong to honor his mother, conceived as a replica of the Angkor Temple – this is a serene place where one can reflect and enjoy the tranquility. Rest of the day at leisure
Overnight: Ayutthaya
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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DAY 6 : Ayutthaya / Travel to Sukhothai (B / L / -)
Depart Ayutthaya this morning and drive northward to Sukhothai, birthplace of the Thai nation, founded in the 13th century by King Ramkhamhaeng. The country’s first capital was established here in 1238 and lasted over two centuries. Sukhothai is world-famous its over 100 historical sites and treasures, including some of the most beautiful Thai art and architecture in the country, created during the city’s “golden era”, between the 13th and 14th centuries. Remainder of the day is at leisure to explore historical Sukhothai independently.
Overnight: Sukhothai
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

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DAY 7 : Sukhothai / Travel to Chiang Mai (B / L / -)
After breakfast visit to the Old Town of Sukhothai with its impressive Historical Park, immaculately restored and set among leafy hills and peaceful lotus ponds, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At this astonishing site, most of the remains of the original city can be seen. Marvel at the ancient Buddha figures, palaces, temples and historical monuments and feel yourself drift back in time to a bygone era. Then, depart Sukhothai and drive to Chiang Mai, ancient capital of the Lanna Kingdom. En route, stop at a local gem gallery before arriving in Chiang Mai, cultural heart of Northern Thailand, located in the rolling foothills of the Himalayas. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure
Overnight: Chiang Mai
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8 : Full Day in Chiang Mai (B / – / -)
Morning at leisure to explore Chiang Mai independently. Or, join the optional Elephant Kingdom Tour, where you’ll see elephants bathing in the running streams, attend a lecture on the Thai Elephant and learn how the mahout train and care for these majestic animals. In the afternoon, visit Sankampang Street, center of handicrafts, for on-site demonstrations on how the silk, lacquer, silver, wood and bronze wares are made. Later, visit the world’s largest gem factory, to watch while the gem stones are cut and set. Spend the rest of the day at leisure
Optional: Half Day Elephant Kingdom Tour with lunch (AM)
Overnight: Chiang Mai
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 9 : Chiang Mai City & Temples Tour, Dinner at Private Home (B / – / D)
Morning tour of the most interesting temples in Chiang Mai. Begin at Wat Suan Dok, where the remains of the Chiang Mai Royal family are enshrined. Continue to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Northern Thailand’s most sacred temple, containing a holy relic of Lord Buddha. Equally impressive is the mythological Naga (dragon-headed serpent) staircase, with 290 steps leading up to the temple grounds. Visit to a local jade factory, followed by an afternoon at leisure to wander independently in Chiang Mai. Tonight, a unique experience. Join a local Chiang Mai family at an authentic Thai Dinner in their home. Enjoy a tour of the home, conversation about life in Chiang Mai and savor the great flavors of home-cooked food
Overnight: Chiang Mai
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10 : Chiang Mai / Travel to Chiang Rai (B / – / -)
This Morning, depart Chiang Mai and drive to scenic Chiang Rai, the northernmost province of Thailand. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. Or, participate in the afternoon’s Half Day Mae Salong Hill Tribe optional excursion to Mae Salong, still inhabited by hill people, namely the Akha, Long Neck and Salong tribes. Visit one of the tribes to see their unique way of life and learn more about their culture.

Optional: Half Day Mae Salong Hill Tribe (PM)
Overnight: Chiang Rai
Meals: Breakfast

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DAY 11 : Mae Sai Border Town & Golden Triangle (B / L / -)
Travel to the border town of Mae Sai, at the tip of Thailand. At this border crossing, arrangements may be made to enter Myanmar*. Ascend to the hilltop viewpoint to see the famous “Golden Triangle” of Southeast Asia – meeting point of the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. The locals call it “Sop Ruak”, as this is also where the Mekong meets the Ruak River. A short cruise then takes you along the banks of the Mekong to the small island of Don Sao in Laos; leisure time at the lively markets before returning to Thailand. Continue to the dramatic House of Opium at Golden Triangle Park, offering an informative exhibition on the history of opium which dates back almost 5000 years. Later, savor a locally prepared lunch in a nearby farming village before returning to Chiang Rai for overnight
*Crossing into Myanmar (Burma) requires a visa which may be obtained locally at the border crossing, at your own expense
Overnight: Chiang Rai
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

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DAY 12 : Chiang Rai / Transfer to Huey Xai & Cruise to Pakbeng (B / L / D)
Travel to the border town of Chiang Khong, Thailand for crossing the Thai – Laos Friendship Bridge to Huey Xai. Transfer to Luang Say Pier and embark to Luang Say Cruise.
09h30 Departure within the Mekong region, the capital of the Lao province of Bokeo, Huay Xai is an important border crossing point with neighboring Chiang Khong, Thailand and was thus chosen as the ideal departing port for the cruise.
10h30 After one-hour journeying along the river, the boat stops at a traditional village. This is a chance to observe rural life along the Mekong and witness the daily life of ethnic minorities and their talented craftsmanship.
12h30 Lunch is served on board in a buffet style with a selection of starters and main course from laos’ main culinary delights as well as a choice of fish and meat dishes.
16h00 The river curise arrives at Luang Say Lodge near Pakbeng before sunset, giving plenty of time to refresh, enjoy the scenery of the river and admire the surrounding nature.
A Laotian dinner is served on the open air terrace overlooking the Mekong River.

DAY 13 : Pakbeng / Cruise to Luang Prabang (B / L / -)
07h00 Mornings are special times at Luang Say Lodge with stunning sights of the peaceful neighboring mountains, often shrouded in mist, while a full breakfast is served on the expansive teak terrace.
08h00 The cruise departs for another day of nature discovery along the legendary river with two stops planned along the way to Luang Prabang.
10h30 A few hours into the day after enjoying the sights of granite cliffs and sparkling sandy shores, the river boat makes a stop to visit the hill tribe village of Baw, where you can watch the traditional process of making Lao whiskey.
12h30 Lunch is served on board in a buffet style with a selection of starters and main course from Laos’ cuisine. A different choice of fish and meat dishes than on the first day is prepared for a greater culinary experience.
15h30 Opposite the mouth of the Nam Ou River, near Pak Ou village, the cruise stops to visit the Tam Thing cave. Translated as Rock Cave, it is famous for housing over 2,500 Buddha statues of all sizes and for being a place of pilgrimage for locals.
17h00 Following a day along the wide Mekong river, with beautiful sceneries of mountains, wild nature, local life and delicious food, the cruise arrives at Luang Prabang, the former imperial capital of Laos.

Overnight: Luang Prabang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 14 : Full Day in Luang Prabang (B / – / -)
Full day to explore Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the heart of the mountainous region of northern Laos. According to legend, Buddha smiled when he rested here during his travels and prophesized that it would one day be the site of a rich and powerful capital city. Luang Prabang seems totally untouched by the modern world. Morning visit the Royal Palace Museum to learn about the monarchy that once ruled the country, and Wat Xieng Tong, the former royal temple. Continue your discovery of this city on the revered hillside of Phou Si where Buddhist shrines on wooden slopes command your attention, along with sweeping views of the Mekong River.
Afternoon half day at leisure. Enjoy the beautiful sights in this city – an outstanding example of the fusion of traditional architecture and Lao urban structures with those built by the Europeans.
Overnight: Luang Prabang
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 15 : Flight to Bangkok (B / – / -)
Morning at leisure in Luang Prabang for last-minute sightseeing or shopping. Then, transfer to the airport for the flight toBangkok.
Arrive at your hotel and spend the remainder of the day at leisure to enjoy all of the delights of Bangkok on your own. Shop to your heart’s content, visit to the many amazing markets, and try some of the fabulous restaurants in this energetic city.
Overnight: Bangkok
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 16 : Depart Thailand (B / – / -)
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast