You will be picked up at your Chiang Mai accommodation on the morning of Day 1 and transferred to Chiang Khong, stopping at Chiang Rai’s famous White Temple along the way. On Day 2 we’ll cross into Laos and board the slow boat for a 7-8 hour float to the town of Pakbeng. On Day 3 enjoy another full-day float through stunning nature and villages to Luang Prabang. Discover charming Luang Prabang by bicycle on Day 4 and take a shuttle to Vang Vieng on Day 5, where you’ll get your adrenaline pumping with a kayaking, tubing, and ziplining adventure on Day 6. End your adventure on Day 7 with a bus to Vientiane.
Day by Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai - Chiang Khong (D)
We will pick you up at your accommodation in Chiang Mai around 10:00 - 10:30 am and begin driving through the stunning landscapes of Northern Thailand. After approximately 3.5 hours of driving we will arrive in Chiang Rai, where you can buy lunch before we make a visit to the famous White Temple, known locally as Wat Rong Khun. This place of worship is an unconventional Buddhist and Hindu temple with ornate and eccentric architecture unlike anything you’ve ever seen. We will continue on towards Chiang Khong, arriving at our guesthouse around 16:00 pm. Chiang Khong is a border town which straddles the Mekong River, facing the town of Huay Xai on the Laotian side of the river. Chiang Khong has lots of temples, a craft village with a busy market where you can buy artisanal crafts and a temple. Enjoy some free time to explore the town on your own before dinner and overnight.
Day 2: Border Crossing into Laos & Boat Transfer to Pakbeng (B/L)
This morning we will leave the guesthouse 8:30 am to go to immigration before we cross the Mekong River to Huay Xai where we will go through the Lao side of immigration. At approximately 10:00 am, we will make our way towards Pakbeng on a slow boat, the best way to travel in this laid-back and lush region. This typically takes about 7-8 hours and we should arrive there at about 17:00-18:00 pm. Upon arrival, you will check into your hotel for overnight in this quiet provincial town.
Day 3: Boat Transfer from Pakbeng to Luang Prabang (B/L)
Between 5:00 - 7:00 am there is a morning market at the end of town for early birds who want to do a little exploring on their own. The group will meet again at around 9:00 am to get back on the slow boat. This time we will travel further down the Mekong River and take in the beautiful scenery and local life along the way. It will again take approximately 7 - 8 hours, arriving in Luang Prabang at about 16:00 - 17:00 pm. Please make your own way to your accommodation for overnight.
Day 4: Luang Prabang City Bike Explorer
Today’s bike tour is about 16 km (10 mi) on paved roads mostly flat with some low-grade hills. Start the day with a visit to the morning market to explore the unique selection of local goods. Next we’ll ride around the city center and peninsula, stopping to view where the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers meet and to visit the famous Wat Xieng Thong Temple. From there we’ll wind our way through the backroads of Luang Prabang to see a special selection of city highlights and rarely visited cultural and craft-making sites for an intimate view of Lao life. Sites include a sample of Luang Prabang’s oldest and most beautiful temples, traditional craft homes, music centers, spirit house craftsmen, funeral pyres, and the UXO Museum for a sobering look at the devastation of the Indochina war in Laos and the many undetonated bombs that still litter the countryside.
We’ll top the tour off with a well-earned meal at an authentic local noodle shop. Finally, we’ll make our way back to city center around 1:00 p.m. (times vary depending on biking speed). Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Please Note: Since we are visiting people’s homes, some sites may be closed without notice and substitutions will be made as necessary. Please also be aware that as we will be riding through urban areas, streets can sometimes be crowded, especially during holidays.
What to Bring: Good walking shoes, sunscreen, mosquito repellent and money for souvenirs. Please dress appropriately to visit a temple (Shirts that cover the shoulders, shorts close to the knee. A light shawl is a great, affordable purchase and souvenir for anyone traveling through Laos that can be used for instant modesty in unexpected situations while traveling. It's highly important to respect local culture.)
Note: Please indicate all guest heights to ensure a well-fitted bike experience. Minimum height is 150 cm (4 foot 11 inch) unless special arrangements have been made upon making reservations.
Day 5: Shuttle Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng
Today you’ll be picked up from your accommodation in Luang Prabang and transferred by shuttle to Van Vieng and dropped off at your new accommodation for check-in. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure to relax, explore, and get settled in. Overnight in Vang Vieng.
Day 6: Kayaking, Tubing & Zipline Adventure (L)
Get ready for an action-packed day full of adrenaline-pumping adventure! Your tour starts at 9:00 am with a 10 km ride on a truck up north to the starting point. Here your instructor will give you basic instructions for kayaking before you begin your adventure paddling down the small rapids of Nam Song River, enjoying incredible mountain scenery along the way. Visit the Tham None Cave, famous for being used as shelter during the Indochina War, and tube inside the cave to see its beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. Next have lunch at the river bar while enjoying the magnificent scenery around Phar None Cliff. After lunch you’ll receive instructions from your zip-line guide before having an amazing adventure in the forest canopy in a circuit of 7 lines and 2 bridges around Phar None. Finally, get back to your kayak and paddle your way back to Vang Vieng, where you will overnight.
Please Note: Bring camera, Sunscreen, Sandals, Shorts & T-shirt. The tour will provide a waterproof bag.
Day 7: Bus Vang Vieng to Vientiane
Today you will make your own way to the bus station to catch your transfer to the Laotian capital Vientiane. Your adventure ends upon arrival. We wish you safe travels!
Land & Water Transportation:
- Shuttle Chiang Mai - Chiang Khong
- Slow Boat Chiang Khong - Luang Prabang
- Shuttle Luang Prabang - Vang Vieng
- Bus Vang Vieng - Vientiane
6 Nights Accommodation in Budget, 3* or 4* Hotels, Depending on Package:
- 1N Chiang Khong Rustic Hotel
- 1N Pakbeng Rustic Guesthouse
- 2N Luang Prabang
- 2N Vang Vieng
Meals: 2 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 1 Dinner
- 3-Day Slow Boat Experience
- Luang Prabang Bike Tour
- Kayaking, Tubing & Zipline Adventure
Transfers to/from Bus Stations