Northern Thailand & Laos Experience
from $6730
Duration: 15 Days
Thailand and Laos are two of South East Asia’s most exciting destinations, and this adventure delivers a heady combination mix of rural adventure and urban pulse. Begin in bustling Bangkok and venture north, where the landscape, history and local food brings one surprise after the next. Bring the pace down a notch as you cross into Laos and discover the ethnic cultures, glittering temples and incredible scenery that make this destination such a Peregrine favourite.
  • Support an important animal welfare initiative and get close to incredible creatures at the Elephant Nature Park
  • Visit the home of the infamous ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’, learn about its dark history and the construction of the railway during the war
  • Your 1 night feature stay at the Hmong Hilltribe Lodge will allow you to immerse yourself in tribal culture without compromising on creature comforts.
  • Enjoy a boat trip on the Mekong River, observing stunning scenery and riverside French villas along the way. Stop by the Pak Ou Caves, known for the hundreds of shrines and miniature Buddhist statues that line their walls.
  • Unwind in the laid-back jungle town of Luang Prabang. Watch as orange-clad monks gather offerings of rice, fruit and sweets from locals before sunrise in a daily alms giving ceremony.
  • Visit Ock Pop Tok, an inspiring fair trade social enterprise that provides a sustainable source of income to local weavers and artisans. Browse their beautifully-made traditional textiles and handicrafts while learning about the organisation.
  • A full day of sightseeing in Vientiane includes visits to the capital’s most dazzling attractions, including the golden Pha That Luang (or the Great Stupa), the most sacred monument in the country.
  • Included flights on this trip makes travelling easy and allows for maximum time in each destination.
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace
  • Bangkok - BTS one day pass
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho
  • Bangkok - Khlong boat canal tour
  • Kanchanaburi - Historical train ride
  • Kanchanaburi - Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum
  • Kanchanaburi - Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
  • Kanchanaburi - Erawan National Park
  • Uthai Thani - Hup Pa Tat
  • Uthai Thani - Wat Tha Sung
  • Uthai Thani - Traditional rice barge lunch cruise
  • Sukhothai - Historical Park bike tour
  • Hmong Hilltribe Lodge - Traditional meal & cultural performance
  • Chiang Mai - Street food tour
  • Chiang Mai - Elephant Nature Park Half Day Trip
  • Chiang Mai - Buddist offering and Monk chat
  • Luang Prabang - Baci welcome ceremony
  • Luang Prabang - Alms giving ceremony
  • Luang Prabang - Mekong River cruise & Pak Ou Caves
  • Day 1 Location: Bangkok
    Welcome to Thailand. One of our transfer representatives will collect you from the airport and take you to your hotel. After settling into your room, your journey begins with an important meeting at 6 pm. Please check for the Peregrine noticeboard in the reception area of the hotel. Please advise your flight details at the time of booking so we can arrange your airport transfer. With free time, acquaint yourself with this frenetic city of tuk tuks, street food and traditional khlong boats winding down the Chao Phraya River. Tonight you'll enjoy a welcome dinner at a great local restaurant.
    Day 2 Location: Bangkok
    Enjoy a day of sightseeing and activities in lively Bangkok. Visit Wat Po, a larger-than-life temple complex in the city. This is the home of the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Wat Pho is among the six officially recognised highest calibre temples in Thailand, and it's certainly one of the most impressive. Also visit the majestic Grand Palace, which has been the official residence of the kings since the 1700s, and enjoy a boat tour of the city's khlongs (canals) to see another, more tranquil, side of Bangkok. The afternoon is free to do as you wish, perhaps visiting Jim Thompson house or enjoying a Thai massage. You’ll have a BTS day pass so you can use the Sky Train to help you get around.
    Day 3 Location: Kanchanaburi
    Travel by private transport to Kanchanaburi (approximately 3.5 hours). While the town may appear modern, it holds a dark past. Many Allied prisoners of war and conscripted Asian labourers were engaged here to help build a rail route to Myanmar (Burma), including the passage infamously known as Hellfire Pass. Visit the memorial museum of the pass to learn more about this chapter in history, and take a historical train journey along a portion of this 'death railway'.
    Day 4 Location: Kanchanaburi
    Make the short drive to the Erawan National Park and waterfall. Its radiant emerald green ponds, named after the three-headed white elephant of Hindu mythology, make for a lovely photo opportunity. On the way back to Kanchanaburi, stop in at the World War II cemetery and museum and spend some time there. This cemetery is the main resting place for the prisoners of war who laboured under Japanese rule in building the Thai-Burma Railway.
    Day 5 Location: Uthai Thani - Nakhon Sawan
    Depart Kanchanaburi in the morning and drive to Hup Pa Tat (approximately 3 hours). Spend an hour or so exploring this beautiful green area surrounded by limestone mountains. Legend has it that centuries ago this valley was a gigantic cave, until the ceiling caved in; massive chunks of limestone lying on the valley floor support the theory. Next you continue to Uthai Thani (approximately 1 hour). Enjoy lunch, while cruising on a traditional rice barge, watching village life along the riverfront stream by, as your travel through beautiful countryside. Afterwards, visit nearby Wat Tha Sung (Crystal Hall) before travelling on to Nakhon Sawan (approximately 1 hour) where you will spend the night. Perhaps head out to the local market in the evening where you can taste many different street foods from the region.
    Day 6 Location: Sukhothai
    Travel by private transport from Nakhon Sawan to Sukhothai (approximately 3 hours). In the afternoon you have the option to visit the Organic Culture Project and spend a couple of hours joining in on traditional Thai farm activities. Check out the organic vegetable garden and attend a demonstration out in the rice fields.
    Day 7 Location: Sukhothai
    Sukhothai, established in the 13th century, was one of the first ancient capitals of Siam. Famed for its World Heritage listed historical park, which captures the Golden Age of Thai civilisation, the capital's name literally means 'Dawn of Happiness'. Today we visit the historical park, which spans the ruins of the town. You will rent a bicycle and take part in a cycle tour. As you ride around, you'll learn more about the history of this former metropolis and its fascinating structures. Enjoy a home-cooked picnic lunch in the beautiful grounds of Sukhothai Park. The rest of the afternoon is free, you might want to simply read a book by the pool back at your resort.
    Day 8 Location: Hmong Hilltribe Lodge (feature stay)
    Travel from Sukhothai to Hmong Hilltribe Lodge, which will take approximately six hours in a private minivan. The Hmong are an ethnic minority in Thailand who originated in the south of China. Today they comprise the second largest hilltribe group in Thailand. After a barbecue dinner in the lodge's open-air dining area, the day concludes with a Hmong cultural performance. You'll gain an insight into the traditional lifestyle of the tribe, with a wedding ceremony enactment, shamanic ritual and makong (cotton ball) throwing.
    Day 9 Location: Chiang Mai
    Travel from Hmong Hilltribe Lodge to the Elephant Nature Park, approximately 1.5 hours by minivan. This is a unique project providing a sanctuary and rescue centre for elephants and other animals such as buffalo, dogs, cats and birds. Be greeted by an expert local guide and then learn the stories of the rescued elephants and the issues confronting elephants in South-East Asia. Witness how these elephants have become a happy herd and are finally free from abuse for the first time in their lives. You'll have a chance to feed the elephants from the viewing platform as well as a tasty vegetarian buffet lunch. Walk with the park staff to the river and watch elephants bathe and play as they are watched over by their personal mahouts. The park visit is all about spending quality time observing elephants and does not stick to a strict schedule so make the most of enjoying these beautiful creatures in a safe and protected environment. Return to Chiang Mai early afternoon (approx. 3-330). Freshen up at the hotel then head out for a street food tour in the evening. Hidden down the back alleys of the city’s old town district you will sample dishes like khao man gai and khao kha moo from many local shops unknown to the tourist eye. Chat with street food vendors who have been serving the same dishes for more than 20 years and understand the influences that Isan and Shan cultures have had on the Northern Thailand’s culinary scene. Your local guide will also suggest many other places you can eat during your time in Chiang Mai.
    Day 10 Location: Chiang Mai
    This morning you’ll have a very unique opportunity to chat with some monks from Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, a university specifically for Buddhist monks. Learn the basics of Buddhism and find out more about their schooling, lifestyle and world view. Enjoy a free afternoon afterwards to explore Chiang Mai further, perhaps getting out into the lush countryside or checking out more Buddhist temples. In the evening, your group will be treated to dinner at a nice restaurant to celebrate your Northern Thailand adventure.
    Day 11 Location: Luang Prabang
    Transfer to the airport and fly from Chiang Mai to beautiful Luang Prabang, the jewel in Laos’ crown. Take your included transfer to the hotel. After settling into your room, you will have free time until your next welcome meeting at 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. Following this important meeting, you will be welcomed to the country with a tradition Baci ceremony. The ceremony, which aims to bring the 32 souls (khouan) that look after you back to your body and attract beneficial influence, is traditionally performed at all important events in a person's life. Afterwards, enjoy a free evening to explore this charming, French-influenced riverside town.
    Day 12 Location: Luang Prabang
    Wake early to participate in the alms giving ceremony, one of the most sacred Buddhist traditions in Laos, where locals offer food to monks in order to seek spiritual blessing. Alms giving takes place daily as the sun rises, beginning on the main street of Luang Prabang before spreading out to side streets. Follow the locals as they kneel down, ready to give offerings of rice, fruit and sweet snacks to the monks. Later that morning, spend time learning about Laos’ diverse ethnic groups at the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre. Afterwards, enjoy an essential activity in Luang Prabang – a boat ride on the Mekong River. It's a great chance to see the riverside from a different angle, with all its stately French villas, trees, and slow-paced two-wheeled traffic. Further along the stream, outside of town, you visit the Pak Ou Caves, located at the confluence of the rivers Mekong and Ou. Enjoy lunch on the boat along the way.
    Day 13 Location: Luang Prabang
    In the morning, visit Ock Pop Tok, an inspiring fair trade social enterprise that provides a sustainable source of income for female artisans in Luang Prabang. Their dedicated team shows women how to make a better living from their skills. The organisation then employs women to design, make and sell beautiful textiles and handicrafts at three shops across the city. Later take a short ride out of town to visit Kuang Si Waterfall. Its glorious blue-green cascades make for one of Laos' most photogenic attractions, and the pool at its base is great for swimming in. There is time to visit the nearby Bear Rescue Centre as well. In the evening, sit down to dinner at Khaiphaen, a Friends-International enterprise dedicated to improving the welfare of disadvantaged youth through skills-training.
    Day 14 Location: Vientiane
    Fly to Vientiane, the capital of Laos, in the early morning. Though not as visually impressive as Luang Prabang, this city is renowned for its food and has some must see sights. Its main streets are awash with a variety of high-calibre restaurants that serve a remarkably diverse span of cuisines from across the globe. Embark on a guided sightseeing tour of the city, stopping in at Wat Si Saket, Hor Prakeo, Patuxai (Victory Gate) and That Luang along the way. You’ll also visit the Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE), a remarkable not-for-profit organisation that makes rehabilitative devices and medical equipment accessible to people with physical disabilities in Laos.
    Day 15 Location: Vientiane
    Your journey comes to an end after breakfast. There are no planned activities for today and you are free to depart at any time.
    Dates
    Prices
    Availability
    Departure Date:
    14JAN2022
    Return Date:
    28JAN2022
    7185NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    08APR2022
    Return Date:
    22APR2022
    7000NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    17JUN2022
    Return Date:
    01JUL2022
    6730NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    02SEP2022
    Return Date:
    16SEP2022
    6730NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    30SEP2022
    Return Date:
    14OCT2022
    6730NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    21OCT2022
    Return Date:
    04NOV2022
    6730NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    18NOV2022
    Return Date:
    02DEC2022
    6910NZD
    available
    Last modified (date)

    23 Aug 2021

    Trip title

    Northern Thailand & Laos Experience

    Trip code

    PATLC

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2021

    Introduction

    Thailand and Laos are two of South East Asia’s most exciting destinations, and this adventure delivers a heady combination mix of rural adventure and urban pulse. Begin in bustling Bangkok and venture north, where the landscape, history and local food brings one surprise after the next. Bring the pace down a notch as you cross into Laos and discover the ethnic cultures, glittering temples and incredible scenery that make this destination such a Peregrine favourite.

    Style

    Peregrine

    Transport

    Plane,Train,Tuk-Tuk,Private vehicle,Boat

    Physical Rating

    2

    Joining point

    Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok

    19 Sukhumvit Soi 18, Sukhumvit Road, Klong-Toei

    Bangkok

    10100

    THAILAND

    Phone: +66 2 261 7100

    Joining point description

    Centrally located in the Sukhumvit area of Bangkok, only ten minutes away from the Asoke Sky Train (BTS) and Sukhumvit Underground (MRT) stations, rembrandt Hotel is in a great location with easy access to Bangkok’s major shopping areas, parks and city landmarks. 24 hour hour reception, restaurants, Sanctuary and Wellness Spa center, fitness center and outdoor pool. All rooms have private ensuite, mini-bar, bedside remote control panel, work desks, 32-inch LCD flat screen television, free high speed wireless internet, cable and satellite TV.

    Joining point instructions

    An arrival transfer is included in this trip - please advise flight details at least 14 days prior to departure. If you have pre booked this service you will be met after exiting customs. Look for exit door 4 and our representative holding a sign with your name on it. If you have any problems and cannot locate our transfer representative on arrival please go to the ATTA Counter (Association of Thai Travel Agents) near exit door 6 on the same floor and ask them to call our transfer operator World Travel Idea 24hr number 081 658 2727 or 081 566 9324. Alternatively, metered taxi ranks are located outside the airport entrance on the 1st floor (gate 4 and 7). Go out of the customs hall, down to the 1st level and walk outside the airport where there is a table with a sign saying "metered taxis". The cost is the metered fare plus a THB50 surcharge. If the taxi uses the toll way it is up to an extra THB75. The total fare should be about THB400 Baht (US$11). Non-metered taxis are also available, where you will be given a docket to pay the driver a set price of THB700 (US$20). Normal check in time at the hotel is after 14:00

    Finish point

    [email protected] Hotel

    Ban Sisaket

    Chanthabouly

    Vientiane

    Pangkham Road

    LAO PDR

    Phone: +856 212651412

    Fax: +856 21265143

    Finish point description

    Centrally located near the Mekong River, [email protected] Hotel Vientiane features easy access to dining, shopping and commercial areas. It offers massage services, and free WiFi throughout the hotel. Incorporating modern and Asian-influence designs, each functional guestroom is fitted with wooden furnishings and has cable TV, a minibar, and tea/coffee making facilities. All rooms have a balcony with a seating area, IDD telephone line . The private bathroom is fitted with a hot and cold shower. A safety deposit box is provided at the 24-hour front desk. The hotel offers currency exchange and laundry services. Pik Thai Restaurant serves local specialties, as well as Thai, Chinese and Western dishes. It offers both indoor and outdoor seating.

    Finish point instructions

    A pre-booked departure transfer is available. Please inquire with your agent. If you have pre booked a transfer your transfer driver will collect you from your Hotel 2.15 hours before your flight time. If your transfer has not arrived within 15 minutes of the scheduled pickup time please ask the hotel reception to contact our operator locally (Khong Island) on : + 856 20 5550 3065.

    Important information

    1. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel. 2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information. 3. Due to limited luggage space in our vehicles, please ensure that you are packing light and compact. Large, bulky suitcases are unsuitable for this trip. Please refer to the Packing section of the Essential Trip Information for details.  4. This trip includes domestic and international flights as indicated on the trip map. The luggage allowance is 20kg for check in luggage and 7kg for carry on.

    Group leader

    All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

    Safety

    It is recommended that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information prior to your departure. Peregrine strongly recommends the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Please leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Most of our hotels will have a safety deposit box, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your tour leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your tour leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and Peregrine makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport we use provides seat belts. FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation we use will have a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:  While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your daypack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

    Visas

    PASSPORT You will need a valid passport to travel internationally. As a general rule, most countries require that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets exactly and contact us immediately if there are any errors. We recommend taking copies of the main passport pages and other important documents with you as well as leave copies at home with family or friends. VISAS Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time. It is important that you check your government's foreign travel advisories along with the consular website of the country or countries you are travelling to for the most up to date information specific to your nationality and circumstances. Please be aware that not all visa information found online from other sources may be valid while COVID-19 restrictions are in place. Visas can take several weeks to process, so make sure you research the requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for obtaining any necessary documents as well as the application and processing time. Your booking consultant can advise on a visa processing service or you can apply yourself directly through a consulate. COVID-19 Entry and Exit Requirements Below you will find general visa advice about the destinations on your trip. Due to constantly evolving COVID-19 requirements and restrictions, please refer to your government's foreign travel advice for the most up to date information.You may also refer to our travel alert page for more info https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/travel-alerts Make sure you are familiar with the current border measures and entry requirements as these are quite complex and changing frequently without notice. Please also ensure you have a travel insurance policy that covers your travels as well as medical or COVID-19 related expenses within the country. RETURN TRAVEL Please ensure you stay up to date with any current testing or quarantine requirements for returning to your home country or transiting through other destinations after the completion of your tour. We are able to help facilitate taking a COVID-19 test while on trip. Please ensure you have funds available to cover the cost of this test which will be payable directly to the testing site. Your Intrepid Tour Leader will provide more details at the group meeting as well as assist with booking appointments for all travellers who need to be tested. THAILAND: If entering by air most nationalities will be granted a 30 day stay on arrival. If entering by a land border, you will be granted a 15 day stay only (some exceptions are citizens of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, Germany and Japan who are eligible for 30 day visa at land borders). A visa extension can be obtained in Thailand at an immigration office for approx. 2000THB or alternatively you can apply for a Thailand visa in advance from your embassy or consulate that will allow a 30 day stay when entering at an overland border. If planning to enter Thailand via a land border multiple times during your travels, we recommend you pre-obtain a 60 day multiple entry visa from you embassy or consulate before you travel rather than attempting to obtain a visa at the border on multiple occasions which may result in being denied re-entry into the country. LAOS: You can get your visa in advance, but a visa can easily be obtained on arrival at most airports from around 35-50USD (dependant on nationality). Please check with the consulate in your country for more details before you travel. If you are planning to get your visa at the airport we recommend bringing 2 passport size photos.

    Why we love it

    Support an important animal welfare initiative and get close to incredible creatures at the Elephant Nature Park

    Visit the home of the infamous ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’, learn about its dark history and the construction of the railway during the war

    Your 1 night feature stay at the Hmong Hilltribe Lodge will allow you to immerse yourself in tribal culture without compromising on creature comforts.

    Enjoy a boat trip on the Mekong River, observing stunning scenery and riverside French villas along the way. Stop by the Pak Ou Caves, known for the hundreds of shrines and miniature Buddhist statues that line their walls.

    Unwind in the laid-back jungle town of Luang Prabang. Watch as orange-clad monks gather offerings of rice, fruit and sweets from locals before sunrise in a daily alms giving ceremony.

    Visit Ock Pop Tok, an inspiring fair trade social enterprise that provides a sustainable source of income to local weavers and artisans. Browse their beautifully-made traditional textiles and handicrafts while learning about the organisation.

    A full day of sightseeing in Vientiane includes visits to the capital’s most dazzling attractions, including the golden Pha That Luang (or the Great Stupa), the most sacred monument in the country.

    Included flights on this trip makes travelling easy and allows for maximum time in each destination.

    Is this trip right for you

    The heat can be challenging in South East Asia. Be sure to dress accordingly and stay hydrated, especially in April and May. Thailand is a big country and there are some drives on this trip of up to 6 hours. Many of these journeys, however, offer beautiful scenery and interesting snapshots of rural life. This trip includes a cycling tour around Sukhothai Heritage Park, so a level of confidence on a bicycle will be required. The roads are quiet with minimal traffic and within the confines of the park it will be easy going so it is certainly a leisurely ride. You will visit a number of temples which requires a level of modesty. All travellers will need to bring clothes that cover the arms and pants or skirts that go past the knees. A light scarf or long sleeve shirt is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot. Laos is a beautifully laid-back destination, but it's also less developed than most in South East Asia, so a little bit of patience goes a long way. Roads may be bumpy and journeys may take longer than expected.

    Health

    GENERAL HEALTH All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while travelling. COVID-19 The safety and wellbeing of our travellers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. You can read more about how we will keep you safe on our trips, including our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines here: https://www.peregrineadventures.com/safe-travels HEALTH SCREENING If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. We ask all travellers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader. TESTING & VACCINATION POLICY From 1st May 2021 we have introduced new safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia and New Zealand. You will need to show either of the below to your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip: - Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or - Proof of negative COVID-19 test conducted no more than 72 hours before day 1 of your trip, or - Proof of recovery documentation In addition, if you’re aged 70+ or have an existing health condition that puts you at a higher risk of serious COVID-19 disease, you are also required to provide proof of vaccination before you can join a trip. This policy is in addition to any specific testing or vaccination requirements for entry to a destination or required by your airline. For more information, including a detailed FAQ about this policy, please visit: https://www.peregrineadventures.com/covid19 Dengue Fever: Rare instances of dengue fever have been reported in this region. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing and always using repellent. Please note that this mosquito is most active during daylight hours however care should be taken at all times. ZIKA VIRUS: There have been reports of transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in this region and we advise all travellers to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Given possible transmission of the disease to unborn babies, and taking a very cautious approach, we recommend all women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant to consult with their doctors before booking their trip. AIR POLLUTION AND SMOKE HAZE: Bangkok and other Thai cities experience high levels of air pollution, which may aggravate bronchial, sinus or asthma conditions. These can be particularly high between the months of December and February. Smoke haze, which usually occurs across parts of north and north-east Thailand during March to April, can also aggravate these conditions. Regular air quality reports are available from the following website http://aqicn.org/city/bangkok/

    Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

    Money matters

    SPENDING MONEY When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget an appropriate amount for things like optional meals, drinks, shopping, optional activities, and laundry. Make sure you have read the itinerary and inclusions thoroughly so you know what is included in the trip price and what you may need to pay for while travelling. CONTINGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. We reserve the right to change an itinerary after departure due to local circumstances or a Force Majeure Event. In such emergency circumstances, the additional cost of any necessary itinerary alterations will be covered by you. Please note we are not responsible for any incidental expenses that may be incurred as a result of the change of itineraries including but not limited to visas, vaccinations or non-refundable flights. Make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last-minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result, there may be some extra costs involved. The recommended amount is listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however, local currency may be needed once in the country to cover these costs. We recommend USD570 for meals not included. The official currency of Thailand is the baht (THB). The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency is via ATMs which are available in most towns and cities. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange. Clean bills in small denominations are most useful. The use of credit cards is restricted, mainly to major hotels and more upmarket shops and shopping centres. LAOS: The official currency of Laos is the Kip (LAK), however, USD are also widely used throughout Laos. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange, clean bills in small denominations are most useful. Visa cash advances are available in major banks, and ATMs are present in most towns. The use of credit cards is restricted mainly to major hotels, more upmarket shops and shopping centres. TIPPING On this trip, we have included gratuities for the essential services that you will receive as part of your tour package. Where applicable, this will cover tips to drivers, specialist local guides, restaurant staff for included meals, porters, bellboys and other hotel staff, including room-cleaning staff. This amount DOES NOT include a tip for your tour leader, so you may wish to set aside some funds for this. It is customary to tip your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$2-US$4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. You may also wish to put aside some money for your own tipping, such as when you are doing your own optional sightseeing or activity that involves local guides and/or drivers or when joining in optional groups meals or dining out on your own. In these instances, we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier. The amounts can vary greatly according to destination. Please ask your tour leader for guidance on what are appropriate amounts to tip. The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops or services is ingrained in the culture of the tourism industry. Rather than turning a blind eye to this unavoidable issue in some areas, we have established a centralised fund whereby contributions from recommended suppliers are collected and distributed back into the business. We aim to provide the best value trips in the market, and this fund assists in keeping operating costs and trip prices low to you. A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of our traveller - you - is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback form completed after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective. DEPARTURE TAX All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.

    What to take

    Remember - the lighter you travel the better! You may be buying things as you go, so don't bring too much from home. Many people find a backpack the most suitable type of luggage for our holidays. Medium-sized suitcases can also be used; however, you should avoid the large, bulky cases that are difficult to carry. Lockable suitcases on wheels are the best type to use. Be aware that some hotels in Asia do not have lifts (elevators) and there may be occasions when you need to carry your luggage up stairs or along railway platforms, etc. When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. Sandals, thongs, flip-flops or jandals are appropriate footwear in the tropics. In many rural areas in Asia women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting sites of religious significance, all travellers should wear clothing that covers their shoulders and knees. In some sites in South East Asia thongs are not allowed (ie. Royal Palace in Phnom Penh). Please check with your leader or local guide. When you pack your clothing, consider the climate at the time of year you are travelling and any specific requirements for your trip as at certain times of the year some of the items suggested in the list that follow may not be necessary. Bear in mind that the weather will vary significantly from place to place. Most of the time the weather is warm in South East Asia; however, it may be distinctly cold up in the highlands. If there are specific requirements for a trip they will be noted here, in the Essential Trip Information. Laundry facilities are available in most destinations. Below is a list of equipment and documentation that we suggest you take with you. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday. Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, flight tickets, Essential Trip Information Photocopy of the above documents Spare passport photos Money: cash, credit/debit cards Money belt Small padlocks Metal chain and padlock to secure luggage on overnight trains – additional precaution Small first-aid kit Daypack for use on day or overnight excursions Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries) Electrical adapter plug Toiletries/roll of toilet paper/travel wipes Insect repellent Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers) Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required) 2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain) Refillable water bottle Phrase book Warm clothes - when travelling in cooler climates Wind and waterproof jacket Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks Camera and charger, spare batteries Swimwear

    WATER BOTTLE: This trip includes one or more sections in a private vehicle with a water dispenser. We encourage all our travellers to bring a refillable water bottle on your trip to help reduce the use of disposable plastic bottles.

    WATER BOTTLE: Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.

    Climate and seasonal

    WEATHER IN THAILAND Thailand's climate is generally hot, humid and at times (like other South-East Asian countries) monsoonal. The seasons differ from coast to coast, so depending on which areas you're visiting, the weather can vary. We recommend researching the locations you'll visit and their weather to help you choose the best time to travel. WEATHER IN LAOS Laos is a great place to visit at any time of the year as the weather doesn't vary much – it’s always hot and humid! The coolest time to visit is from November to January. This is also the driest time, and the main festival period, so it’s an interesting time to travel through Laos. The wet season runs from June to October. It rains frequently during this time, temperatures average over 30 degrees Celsius and although some roads may be closed due to flooding, it is a great time for river travel. February to May is drier but hot, with temperatures climbing to 40 degrees Celsius. SONGKRAN FESTIVAL The Songkran Festival is celebrated to mark the New Year. The festival runs from the 13th to the 16th of April. Traditionally houses and villages are properly cleaned in preparation for the New Year, flowers are gathered to decorate Buddha images, young people pour water over the elders for good luck. Songkran Festival is often referred to as the “water festival” as it is now common to throw water over each other during the festival period. Our advice is to be prepared to get wet! Your leader will discuss the festival activities upon day one at the group meeting.

    A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our Responsible Travel Guidelines. The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information. For additional Conditions of Carriage regarding COVID-19, see here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/conditions-carriage

    Feedback

    Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: https://www.peregrineadventures.com/feedback

    Pre-departure checklist

    Before you travel please download our pre-departure checklist to make sure you are fully prepared for your trip: http://www.peregrineadventures.com/pre-departure-travel-checklist

    Emergency contact

    BOOKING ENQUIRIES / ISSUES For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at: www.peregrineadventures.com/contact-us CRISIS AND EMERGENCIES In case of a genuine crisis or emergency please contact our local ground representative on the number below: ISSUES ON YOUR TRIP: While we always endeavor to provide you the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader/specialist guide or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader/guide to speak to their direct manager. Peregrine’s Local Operator: +66 898 103 722

    Responsible travel

    Responsible travel is important to Peregrine. Maintaining our integrity and upholding principles of sustainable development are core to our travel ethos. Our values are ingrained in the culture of our business and in the design of our trips. We respect the people, cultures and local environments that we encounter while travelling and encourage the spread of good will and cross-cultural sharing. We are committed to making a positive contribution wherever possible. Read more about responsible travel with Peregrine here: https://www.peregrineadventures.com/responsible-travel LOCAL DRESS: When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. In many rural areas in Asia women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong. ELEPHANT PERFORMANCES & ELEPHANT RIDING: While we respect each individual’s decisions while travelling, Peregrine does not include elephant rides or unnatural performance activities on any itinerary, and we recommend you bypass these activities should they be offered to you during your stay. Professional wildlife conservation and animal welfare organisations, including World Animal Protection (formerly the World Society for Protection of Animals) advise that contrary to common belief, captive elephants remain wild animals and despite good intentions, unfortunately many venues are unable to provide the appropriate living conditions elephants require and this ultimately impacts their well-being. While there is some merit in the argument that the money that you pay for the activity goes towards keeping the elephants and their mahouts employed, we know that it also fuels demand for elephants to be captured in the wild or captive bred. We thank you for your support in improving the welfare of these majestic creatures.

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Peregrine Adventures, a brand of the Intrepid Group, and works with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

    Accommodation notes

    Peregrine Feature Stay - Hmong Hilltribe Lodge Nestled in the Suthep-Pui mountain range, this jungle lodge gives you a unique opportunity to experience traditional Hmong culture amidst striking natural beauty.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. Travellers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travellers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below:

    Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour.

    Accommodation

    Hotel (6 nights),Resort (4 nights),Feature stay Hmong Hilltribe Lodge (1 night),Feature stay Sada Hotel (3 nts)

    Banner Image
    Hero Images

    Make an Enquiry

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.