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Laos On A Shoestring

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highlights
  • Discover the serenity of Luang Prabang.
  • Float on the mighty Mekong.
  • Experience the beauty of scenic northern Thailand.
Starting in Vientiane and ending in Chiang Mai, the Laos On A Shoestring tour is a guided countryside and village visits tour that takes 9 days. You will be touring through Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Chiang Khong and 3 other destinations in Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. Laos On A Shoestring is a small group tour which will include accommodation, transport, meals and others. Please check the package includes section for more details.

Start this nine-day tour in laid-back Vientiane and head south to Chiang Mai, experiencing some of the best of Southeast Asia along the way. Caves, city lights, temples, street food crawls – this adventure’s got it all. Feeling active? Hike, bike, or swim in Vang Vieng. Feeling dreamy? Cruise the Mekong and then get a real feel for local life with a village homestay. Once in Chiang Mai, opt to visit Doi Suthep temple or catch a Thai boxing match. Better yet, do both!
customer reviews about G Adventures
4.6 - Excellent Based on 68 reviews
Review for another G Adventures tour
5 - Excellent
“We covered so much! Saw lots of wildlife, fantastic nature, delicious food. The CEO was ace!”
Julie's review for another G Adventures tour
5 - Excellent
“This was a very well planned holiday..Our guide, Mr Bean (Bin) did a great job keeping us safe and happy. This is the first time l have participated in a group tour...it will not be the last! I was given ample time to do my own thing or else spend time with my group. Enjoyed everything...”
JOSE's review for another G Adventures tour
4 - Very Good
“Very Good”
Select Tour Version:
Arrive at any time.
There are no activities planned until an evening welcome meeting.
Included Activity
  • Meet Your CEO and Group
    Duration : 1.0 hr
    Your opportunity to meet your CEO and fellow travellers, and learn more about your tour. Opt to join the group for a local meal afterwards.
Optional Activities
  • Wat Pha That Luang Visit
    See Laos’s national symbol and most important sacred monument, Pha That Luang (Great Stupa), completely covered in gold leaf. Every November, devoted Buddhists come here to celebrate Vientiane’s most important festival, Bun That Luang, with parades, music and religious ceremonies.
Enjoy the beautiful limestone karsts surrounding Vang Vieng. Free time to hike, bike, swim or go caving.
A picturesque drive north takes us to beautiful Vang Vieng. This quiet town is set along the Nam Song river amidst rice fields and limestone karsts.
Meal
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Vilayvong Guesthouse (or similar)
Transport
  • Private Vehicle
    Duration : 3.0 hr - 4.0 hr
    Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Optional Activities
  • Hiking
    Set off along the banks of the river to explore nearby caves, countryside and meet local villagers to find out more about their way of life.
  • Bike Rental
    Rent a bike and explore the countryside.
  • Swimming
    Head to the river for a dip. There are also tube rentals available in the area if you'd rather spend some time floating around.
  • Caving
    Explore some of the many caves in the area. Some have lagoons for tubing in the dark or smooth terrain perfect for walking through. Ask your CEO for recommendations on which cave to visit for the best time.
  • Kayaking
    Explore the stunning landscape of Vang Vieng by kayak, a great way to see the caves and wildlife in the area.
Free time to explore Vang Vieng. Opt to explore some of the caves by bicycle or take an invigorating walk. In the evening, soak in the natural beauty of the countryside as the sun sets over the river.
Opt to pre-book the "Vang Vieng Adrenaline Bundle" on the checkout page ahead of time, to include this optional on your tour.
Meal
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Vilayvong Guesthouse (or similar)
Optional Activities
  • Hiking
    Set off along the banks of the river to explore nearby caves, countryside and meet local villagers to find out more about their way of life.
  • Bike Rental
    Rent a bike and explore the countryside.
  • Vang Vieng Adrenaline Bundle
    None
This morning travel from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang. Get your bearings with a CEO-led orientation walk. This evening enjoy learning about local delicacies at the night market on Walking Street.
Meal
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Treasure Hotel (or similar)
Included Activity
  • Orientation Walk
    Duration : 0.5 hr - 1.0 hr
    Enjoy a brief walk with your CEO. He/she will give you some tips on finding things like supermarkets, main squares, and ATMs. For more specific or in-depth information, an official guided tour is recommended.
Transport
  • Private Vehicle
    Duration : 7.0 hr
    Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Witness the giving of alms to the Buddhist monks and visit the night market. Opt to take a cooking class, visit temples or cool off at Kuang Si Waterfalls.
Traditional Laotian culture is to give daily alms to monks. Monks are only allowed to eat food which has been donated to them before noon. On one of your mornings here, you may decide to rise with the sun, and watch one of the most important religious ceremonies in Laos. This is simply an unforgettable Southeast Asian experience.
Meal
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Treasure Hotel (or similar)
Optional Activities
  • Kuang Si Waterfalls Excursion
  • Phousi Temple Visit
    Climb more than 300 steps to the top of Mount Phou Si for a panoramic view of the sunset over Luang Prabang. Ornate Buddhist shrines dot the pathway up and the glistening seven-tiered golden pagoda of Wat Chom Si awaits at the summit.
  • Royal Palace Museum Visit
    The ornate rooms of this royal palace-turned-museum house the country’s crown jewels, many religious artifacts, and a 50kg (110 lb) Buddha, cast of gold, silver and bronze. Gifts from visiting heads of state are on display, as are the beautiful silk screens crafted by the Queen.
  • Wat Xien Thong Visit
    Once a royal temple where Kings were crowned, the importance of this 16th-century Buddhist temple as a religious monastery is not lost on visitors. Wat Xieng Thong stands resplendent among shrines, pavilions, chapels, towers and gardens, and its gilded wooden doors, mosaics, and ceiling displays are representative of typical Laos art and craft.
  • Wat Visoun Temples Visit
    Originally built in 1513 and still operational, Wat Visoun is Luang Prabang’s oldest temple. Over the years invaders stole many of its priceless Buddha images, but this temple still offers some unusual architecture like the domed lotus flower stupa, designed by a royal and affectionately called "The Watermelon Stupa."
  • Cooking Class
    Enjoy the sights and smells of fresh produce, local spices and exotic ingredients and learn the secrets of Laotian cuisine.
  • Royal Ballet Theatre
    Enjoy a traditional performance at the Royal Ballet Theatre and learn more about Laotian culture through the art of dance.
  • Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre Entry
  • Ock Pop Tok Living Crafts Centre Visit
    Visit Ock Pop Tok "East Meets West" Living Crafts Centre on the banks of the Mekong River to learn from artisans about Laos handicrafts and the importance of woven textiles in Laos culture. Opt to enjoy a drink in the cafe.
Cruise the Mekong on a long houseboat before arriving at a village homestay for the night.
We board our boat for the two-day journey up the mighty Mekong River making our way to Chiang Khong.
Meal
  • Breakfast and Dinner
Accommodation
  • Homestay Pakbeng (or similar)
Included Activities
  • Mekong River Slow Boat
    Duration : 8.0 hr - 10.0 hr
    Enjoy the ride down the Mekong River on our private boat (it’s pretty comfortable and spacious, and there’s a toilet on board). Have some fruit, tea, and coffee (free of charge); water and soft drinks are available for purchase.
  • Mekong River Homestay & Baci Ceremony
    G Adventures and the Planeterra Foundation have worked with two communities in the Mekong River to help develop their homestay programs, providing a unique cultural experience for travellers and the local community.

    Here you have the chance to stay overnight in a Mekong village to get a glimpse into rural daily life. Experience a traditional Baci Ceremony, typically held to celebrate weddings, the Lao New Year, a housewarming or the arrival of guests. A village elder (called "mor phon") will lead our group through the experience, calling on local deities and spirits through chanting, with foods such as sweets, eggs, and sticky rice presented during the ceremony. As the Baci Ceremony ends, a symbolic white thread will be tied around travellers' wrists - a tradition which bestows good luck upon those who visit the Mekong River.
Mekong River travel day. Cross into Thailand.
This morning we re-board our boat and continue our leisurely cruise along the river before arriving at the Laos/Thai border and crossing to Chiang Khong in the late afternoon.
Meal
  • Breakfast and Lunch
Accommodation
  • Namkhong Guesthouse (or similar)
Included Activities
  • Mekong River Slow Boat
    Duration : 8.0 hr - 10.0 hr
    Bring some warm gear – it can be quite cold from November to February.
  • Border Crossing (Laos - Thailand)
    Check your passport! To enter Thailand passports must be valid for at least another 6 months from time of entry. Tourists visas are only issued for 15 days at a time, to stay in Thailand for an extended period apply for a Thai visa before the trip. Multiple entry visas are needed if flying into Thailand multiple times. Double-check with a travel agent or the nearest Thai Embassy in case these requirements change.
Drive to Chiang Mai. Opt to visit Doi Suthep temple, catch a Thai boxing match or grab a bargain at the famous night market.
Departing Chiang Khong after breakfast, we drive to Chiang Mai where you have the afternoon free to explore this fascinating city, once the capital of the Kingdom of Lan.
Accommodation
  • Chiang Mai Gate Hotel (or similar)
Transport
  • Private Vehicle
    Duration : 6.0 hr - 7.0 hr
    Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Optional Activities
  • Northern Thai Cooking Class
    Channel your inner chef with a home-style Thai cooking class. Take a trip to the market with your teacher and learn about regional flavours as you pick out fresh ingredients. Head back to the cozy kitchen for a hands-on lesson in whipping up delicious local favourites like hot and sour soup, green curry, and sticky rice.
  • Muay Thai Fight
  • Doi Suthep Temple Visit
  • Massage (Southeast Asia)
    Lay back and soothe aching muscles with a famous local massage. Affordable and amazing, don't miss out.
  • Night Market
    Pick up a a souvenir at this shopper's paradise. Wander through the market to find music, food, and local artists selling handmade crafts.
  • Chiang Mai Cycling Tour
    Meander through Chiang Mai by bike and get an alternative view of this bustling city.
  • Khantoke Dinner and Show
    Enjoy dinner northern Khantok style, with local entertainment. The main dishes on the Khantok usually include sticky rice, Hang-le curry (Burmese-styled curry), and some chilli pasted with crispy pork.
  • Bamboo Rafting
    Take a traditional raft along the Mae Wang River and enjoy the luscious rural surroundings of Chiang Mai. Made of bamboo, these rafts are unlike your typical beach rafts and you will certainly get wet! It's a great way to cool off while exploring the natural beauty of the area.
Depart at any time.
what’s included
Accommodation
  • Simple hotels (twin-share) (4 nts), hostels (multi-share) (3 nts), homestay (1 nt).
Meals
  • 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
    Note: Allow USD105-140 for meals not included.
Transport
  • Train, local bus, air-con bus, slow boat, walking.
Staff & experts
  • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout.
Included activities
  • Your G for Good Moment: Mekong River Homestay & Baci Ceremony, Muang Pakbèng
  • Your Discover Moment: Luang Prabang
  • Slow boat up the Mekong
  • Orientation walk of Luang Prabang
  • Witness the giving of alms (Luang Prabang)
  • Street food crawls
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to Vientiane and from Chiang Mai are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Laos on a Shoestring tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Laos on a Shoestring
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Good to know
Payment

A deposit of 250 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 61 days before departure. For any departures within 17 October 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Laos on a Shoestring tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Laos on a Shoestring tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

Other Practical Information
  • 1. Travel Style : 18-to-ThirtysomethingsFast, fresh, and fun adventures that never slow down, made for young, budget-minded travellers.
  • 2. Service Level : BasicSimple and clean hotels and hostels; affordable public and private transport; lots of optional activities.
  • 3. Physical Grading : 2 - LightLight walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
  • 4. Trip Type : Small GroupGroup trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.
CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Laos on a Shoestring tour. You can cancel the tour up to 62 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 61 days of departure.
Trip Details
  • Accommodation

    Simple hotels (twin-share) (4 nts), hostels (multi-share) (3 nts), homestay (1 nt).

  • Checklist

    Conservative Dress:
    • Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders)
    • Shawl or scarf (for temple visits)

    Documents:
    • Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
    • Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
    • Passport (required) (With photocopies)
    • Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
    • Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)

    Essentials:
    • Binoculars (optional)
    • Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
    • Cash, credit and debit cards
    • Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
    • Ear plugs
    • First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
    • Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
    • Fleece top/sweater
    • Footwear
    • Hat
    • Locks for bags
    • Long pants/jeans
    • Moneybelt
    • Outlet adapter
    • Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
    • Reusable water bottle
    • Shirts/t-shirts
    • Sleepwear
    • Small travel towel
    • Sunglasses
    • Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
    • Watch and alarm clock
    • Waterproof backpack cover
    • Windproof rain jacket

    Warm Weather:
    • Sandals/flip-flops
    • Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
    • Sun hat/bandana
    • Swimwear

    Note: Please pack clothing for the season in which you will be travelling. From Nov-Feb weather can be cold, so please pack warm clothing. From May-Oct it is the wet season, so please bring waterproof clothing.

  • Group_leader

    Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout.

  • Group_size_notes

    Max 18, avg 12.

  • Highlights

    Discover the serenity of Luang Prabang, float on the mighty Mekong, experience the beauty of scenic northern Thailand.

  • International_flights

    Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.

  • Introduction

    Start this nine-day tour in laid-back Vientiane and head south to Chiang Mai, experiencing some of the best of Southeast Asia along the way. Caves, city lights, temples, street food crawls – this adventure’s got it all. Feeling active? Hike, bike, or swim in Vang Vieng. Feeling dreamy? Cruise the Mekong and then get a real feel for local life with a village homestay. Once in Chiang Mai, opt to visit Doi Suthep temple or catch a Thai boxing match. Better yet, do both!

  • Meal_budget

    Allow USD105-140 for meals not included.

  • Meals_included

    6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

  • Minimum_age

    Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.

  • Packing_note

    Please pack clothing for the season in which you will be travelling. From Nov-Feb weather can be cold, so please pack warm clothing. From May-Oct it is the wet season, so please bring waterproof clothing.

  • Start_finish

    Vientiane to Chiang Mai

  • Transport

    Train, local bus, air-con bus, slow boat, walking.

  • Whats_included

    Your G for Good Moment: Mekong River Homestay & Baci Ceremony, Muang Pakbèng
    Your Discover Moment: Luang Prabang. Slow boat up the Mekong. Orientation walk of Luang Prabang. Witness the giving of alms (Luang Prabang). Street food crawls. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

  • Optional_activities

    Vientiane
    - Wat Pha That Luang Visit (1USD per person)

    Vang Vieng
    - Kayaking (25USD per person)
    - Hiking
    - Swimming
    - Caving
    - Bike Rental (2USD per person)
    - Vang Vieng Adrenaline Bundle

    Luang Prabang
    - Wat Visoun Temples Visit (2.50USD per person)
    - Phousi Temple Visit (2.50USD per person)
    - Royal Palace Museum Visit (5USD per person)
    - Wat Xien Thong Visit (2.50USD per person)
    - Cooking Class (35USD per person)
    - Ock Pop Tok Living Crafts Centre Visit (8USD per person)
    - Royal Ballet Theatre (15USD per person)
    - Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre Entry (4USD per person)

    Kuang Si Falls
    - Kuang Si Waterfalls Excursion (2.50USD per person)

    Chiang Mai
    - Bamboo Rafting (15USD per person)
    - Muay Thai Fight
    - Night Market
    - Chiang Mai Cycling Tour (30USD per person)
    - Khantoke Dinner and Show (30USD per person)
    - Northern Thai Cooking Class

    Chiang Khong
    - Massage (Southeast Asia)

    Doi Suthep
    - Doi Suthep Temple Visit (2USD per person)

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  • Age Group: {{myRequest.age_group}} yrs
  • Type of Tour: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].type_of_tour}}
  • Accommodation Option: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].accommodation_option}}
  • Budget Per Person: USD {{myRequest.approx_budget_amount}}
  • Budget Flexibility {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].budget_flexibility}}
  • Trip Planning Stage {{myRequest.trip_planning_stage}}
  • Trip Details: ... Read More Read Less
How our Travel Expert Service Works
  • 1 We connect you with a hand-picked and qualified travel expert who can match your trip requirements. The advantage of working directly through a travel expert is that you get the best and unfiltered advice from the very beginning.
  • 2 The travel expert will help you with creating and customising a trip for you. If you have any questions or concerns relating to the trip, the travel expert will also be able to help you with those.
  • 3 When you feel that your trip is exactly per your wish, you'll be able to book the entire trip here on Bookmundi.
The Advantages of Bookmundi
  • Selected Local Travel Experts All our local travel experts have been chosen based on rigorous selection criteria. In fact, we reject 98 out of 100 local travel agencies, and thereby giving you access to the top 1-2% local travel experts.
  • Secure Online Payment and Financial Guarantee Each and every trip is required to go through Bookmundi's secure payment platform, powered by Stripe and supported by SSL. All payments are therefore carried out in secure manners. We are furthermore member of the Danish Travel Fund which gives you a 100% financial guarantee for any money you pay on Bookmundi, even if we went bankrupt (which we we will not!).
  • Trip Replacement or 100% Reimbursement Bookmundi has hand-picked your local travel expert. Our role, as your trusted third party, is therefore to make sure that your entire experience runs as seamless and secure as possible. We guarantee to you that in the unlikely event where a local travel expert cancels your trip after your deposit or full payment has been made, we commit to replacing these services with another equally qualified agency so that your trip can go ahead as planned, or failing to replace it, we will give you a 100% reimbursement.
New customised trip enquiry by {{getFirstName(activeuser)}}:
  • Title: {{myRequest.title}}
  • Country: {{!!tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].geoLocation?tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].geoLocation:myRequest.country}}
  • Destination: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].destinations.join(', ')}}
  • Activity: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].activity.join(', ')}}
  • Custom Destination: {{tripPlannerCustom[myRequest.id].destination}}
  • Custom Activity: {{tripPlannerCustom[myRequest.id].activity}}
  • Group Size: {{myRequest.no_of_adults > 0 && myRequest.no_of_children > 0?',':''}} {{myRequest.group_type=='Single'?'1 Person':myRequest.group_type=='Couple'?'2 People':''}}
  • {{myRequest.departure_month || myRequest.duration?'Approx. Dates':'Travel Dates'}}: {{myRequest.start_date | readableDate}} to {{myRequest.end_date | readableDate}} {{myRequest.departure_month}}, {{myRequest.duration}} Not decided yet
  • Tour Type: {{myRequest.tourtype | tourtypefullName}}
  • Age Group: {{myRequest.age_group}} yrs
  • Type of Tour: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].type_of_tour}}
  • Accommodation Option: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].accommodation_option}}
  • Budget Per Person: USD {{myRequest.approx_budget_amount}}
  • Budget Flexibility {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].budget_flexibility}}
  • Trip Planning Stage {{myRequest.trip_planning_stage}}
""
Can you handle {{getFirstName(activeuser)}}'s enquiry? Rejection Reason
{{myRequest.reject_reason?myRequest.reject_reason:'Sorry, Your trip request has been rejected.'}}
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