Tour details

13 Day Backpacking tour of Thailand and Laos

Embrace Southeast Asia’s wealth of unforgettable experiences on our 12 - day adventure tour of Thailand and Laos. 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. Experiences that will stay with you forever. Curious to find out more?


The meeting time and place for this trip is on Day 1 at 17:00 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. (£19)
  • Optional: In the evening, witness a Muay Thai kickboxing match and see two fighters go at each other fist to foot. (£9/£13)

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. (£55-£130 package dependent)
  • For our first night out in the town, explore the vibrancy of the famous night market.

Day 4: Chiang Mai, Thailand

  • Optional: Hop on a Songthaew and head to Wat Doi Suthep temple and take in panoramic views of the city.
  • Enjoy a free afternoon! Why not explore Hmong Village near Doi Suthep temple, or make your way back to explore the old city.
  • For your last night in Chiang Mai, hit up one of its most iconic bars, ‘Zoe in Yellow.’

Day 5: Chiang Dao, Thailand (L, D)

  • 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 6: Chiang Dao, Thailand (B)

  • 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 7: Mekong River, Laos (B)

  • 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 8: Luang Prabang, Laos (B, L)

  • 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 9: Luang Prabang, Laos (B)

  • 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. (£30)
  • 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 10: Vang Vieng, Laos (B)

  • 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 11: Vang Vieng, Laos (B)

  • Optional: Try your hand at rock climbing (£17), or take a biking tour of the area, followed by a hike up to Pha Ngern Viewpoint for breath-taking views. (£4)
  • 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. (£5)
  • Enjoy some free time in the evening to further explore the wonders Vang Vieng at night.

Day 12: Hanoi, Vietnam (B)

  • 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 13: Hanoi, Vietnam

  • Last day of your 12-day adventure tour, make sure to make the most of it!
  • Optional: Visit the Hoa Lo Prison (£2) and learn about Vietnam’s history before heading over to relax by Hoan Kiem lake.
  • 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.


What’s included?

  • Western and local (English-speaking!) adventure leaders.
  • Accommodation in hostels and hotels which meet The Dragon Trip’s high standards. All have their own unique charm, and at the same time are safe, clean, and hygienic.
  • All train, boat and bus tickets.
  • Entry to a whole range of places plus a vast number of included activities.
  • 6 Breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
  • All taxes and charges.

What’s not included?

  • Flights to and from South East Asia
  • Visas
  • Aside from the many free unmissable activities The Dragon Trip offers you, we also offer some extra activities which are great value for money, safe and fun.
  • Food and Drink
  • Any train/bus tickets for journeys made after the trip
  • Any hostels for after your trip has ended

Departures 2019:

1st Apr, 2019 - 13th Apr, 2019
25th Apr, 2019 - 7th May, 2019
6th May, 2019 - 18th May, 2019
20th May, 2019 - 1st Jun, 2019
3rd Jun, 2019 - 15th Jun, 2019
17th Jun, 2019 - 29th Jun, 2019
1st Jul, 2019 - 13th Jul, 2019
8th Jul, 2019 - 20th Jul, 2019
15th Jul, 2019 - 27th Jul, 2019
22nd Jul, 2019 - 3rd Aug, 2019
29th Jul, 2019 - 10th Aug, 2019
12th Aug, 2019 - 24th Aug, 2019
26th Aug, 2019 - 7th Sep, 2019
16th Sep, 2019 - 28th Sep, 2019
7th Oct, 2019 - 19th Oct, 2019
28th Oct, 2019 - 9th Nov, 2019
18th Nov, 2019 - 30th Nov, 2019
6th Jan, 2020 - 16th Jan, 2020
20th Jan, 2020 - 1st Feb, 2020
3rd Feb, 2020 - 15th Feb, 2020
10th Feb, 2020 - 22nd Feb, 2020
24th Feb, 2020 - 7th Mar, 2020
9th Mar, 2020 - 21st Mar, 2020
16th Mar, 2020 - 28th Mar, 2020

1347 AUD

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