Buddha image, Pak Ou Caves, Laos. llee_wu/Creative Commons.
What You'll Get
Get drawn into the beauty of Laos and Thailand, with idyllic landscapes and ancient cultural cities unfolding before you on a 15-day, 13-night sojourn.
Your arrival in Laos, one of Southeast Asia’s more beguiling destinations, begins at its former capital, Luang Prabang. You get to explore the charming city’s night market, bike through its atmospheric streets to see some of its most beautiful temples, and witness a dramatic panorama from atop Mount Phousi.
From Luang Prabang, you'll visit the Elephant Village on the banks of Nam Khan River, and get to live your mahout dreams – take an elephant ride through the jungle, before undertaking a short hike to the hidden Huay Sae Valley where a comfortable bamboo raft takes you down the river for a swim under the Tad Sae waterfalls.
The next two days will take you to the splendid Pak Ou Caves, which sit amidst a verdant jungle; a brief immersion to a Hmong village, where you’ll be able to participate in a traditional ceremony; and a visit to the organic farming community Living Land.
Before heading to Vientiane as your final stop in Laos, you’ll see even more of the country’s bucolic landscapes of mountains, valleys, and rivers as you head to scenic Vang Vieng, where the views of its cliffs and rice paddies enchant many travelers.
From Laos, you fly off to Thailand’s pulsating capital, Bangkok, where you’ll get a quick tour of its ancient and modern spectacles. You’ll then escape to somewhere more serene—Ayutthaya. The once-magnificent ancient Siamese capital is a top heritage destination where you’ll see impressive archeological remains of palaces, towers, and Buddhist monasteries.
From Ayutthaya, you’ll drive north to Sukhothai, the birthplace of the Thai nation. As the country’s first capital, it’s home to over a hundred historical sites and treasures, including some of the most beautiful Thai art and architecture in the country. Behold the Old Town where the impeccably restored Historical Park is set among leafy hills and tranquil lotus ponds.
You’ll get an even bigger dose of Thai splendor as you drive to scenic Chiang Mai. Considered the cultural heart of Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai boasts of many interesting temples and a picturesque downtown that will have you leisurely strolling along its streets and taking in its languid charm before you head back to bustling Bangkok.
Ayutthaya, Thailand. Guillaume Capron/Creative Commons.