Thailand, Vietnam & Laos holiday

“A colossal 3 week odyssey travelling in a small group with a mixture of private and public transport, taking in many aspects very much off the usual tourist trail. The majority of this trip is divided between Vietnam and Laos. ”

Highlights

Thailand: Chiang Mai | Mae Fah Luang | Sob Ruak Opium Museum | Mekong River | Chiang Saen | Chiang Khong | Laos: Lanten people | Eco lodge on banks Tha river |Hike in Nam Ha National Protected Area | Akha people | Hmong village and Lao hill tribe | Boat ride on Nam Ou River | Cave temples at Pak Ou | Luang Prabang temples | Phonsavan and Plain of Jars | Xieng Khouang or Mouang Khoun | Mine Action Group | Visits to Hmong and Khmu settlements | Vieng Xai Caves | Vietnam: Pu Luong National Park | Stay in White Tai village | Mountains of Northern Vietnam | Mu Cang Cha rice fields | Sapa | Fansipan Mountain | Sleeper train Lao Cai town to Hanoi | Tour of Hanoi

Description of Thailand, Vietnam & Laos holiday

This three week, small group South East Asia holiday takes you through the remote, northern regions of Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. Travelling overland, you will be exploring many places that are very much off the tourist trail.

Our exciting journey starts with three days in Northern Thailand. You will explore the Golden Triangle region, where the Ruak and Mekong Rivers meet, their stunning valleys and surrounding mountains of Burma and Laos home to many traditional hill-tribe people. After three days in Thailand, we head over the mountains into Laos, where we have ten days to take in many aspects of this beguiling country’s natural and cultural heritage. This includes a hike in Nam Ha National Protected Area, a drive across the mountains of Oudom Xai Province and boat ride down the Nam Ou River.

In Luang Prabang itself, you will take time to visit the city’s UNESCO greats, from the colonial houses to glorious temples, the whole city having rightly earned World Heritage Site status. Other extraordinary sites include Phonsaven’s Plain of Jars, the Vieng Xai Caves of Sam Neua Province, as well as visits to Hmong and Khmu settlements.

From Laos, we head into Northern Vietnam, still off the beaten track and far away from mass tourism. We will visit Sapa, a former French colonial hill station. Here you can explore the landscapes of the Tonkinese Alps, with terraced rice paddies, pretty waterfalls and stay as guests of a White Thai ethnic village. One of the most memorable sights on these last few days of the trip is that of Fansipan Mountain, one of SE Asia’s highest at 3143m. That and the ambience of the country’s 1000 year old capital, Hanoi, where your tour around the bustling markets, street food, colonial architecture and ancient pagodas will stay with you forever.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

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Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
15 Nov 2017
£ 2950
including UK flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 15 Nov 2017 departure
11 Dec 2017
£ 3150
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 11 Dec 2017 departure
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group holiday

This is a 'small group adventure' - you will be sharing your experiences with like minded people. Group sizes are limited to a maximum of 12 persons, a genuinely small group. Experience has taught us that smaller groups are less intrusive to local cultures and environments whilst allowing more interaction with local people. Furthermore it means greater flexibility on a day to day basis and on a social level it proves to be fun. Whether you are travelling alone or with friends/family its good value, and a great way to meet new people! The intention is to travel as a group of friends rather than a typical tour group, so don't expect stick-on name badges or any following the umbrella.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Thailand, Vietnam & Laos holiday

This tour visits some very remote parts of SE Asia using a land border between Laos and Vietnam which was only opened in May 2007.

In Northern Laos, we instigated the visits to a Lanten tribal village close to Huay Xai in N.W. Laos with the assistance of the local schoolteacher who has since set up a small village co-operative stall where local handicrafts can be sold as souvenirs. This has led to an increase of interest amongst the villagers in traditional handicrafts as well as the locally produced mulberry paper the production of which had almost disappeared.

In Northern Vietnam we are encouraging maintenance of traditional handicrafts and supporting people with disabilities (in a region where disabilities can utterly preclude gainful employment) by visiting, and encouraging purchases from, a disabled persons silk painting workshop in Hanoi.

Information: Providing suitable, relevant information for our customers; to help them to gain a wider understanding of our style of tourism that focuses on learning, genuine interaction with the local communities, reciprocity and cultural exchange processes. To be aware of the potential impact of tourism on the local society, culture and environment, and to behave and dress appropriately with a respect and appreciation for local customs, mores and traditions and a respect for the ecology of areas visited. Our guides and leaders thus facilitate communication of our values to both travellers and local communities, educating them in sustainable tourism practices

Group sizes: By limiting groups to small sizes we aim to reduce the impact on both local communities and the environment whilst allowing for greater genuine interaction with said communities. It also results in a higher guide/customer ratio thus greater facility for supervision and individual assistance and allows us to use smaller hotels and restaurants and employ the services of more genuinely ‘local’ operators perhaps not otherwise well equipped for larger groups.

Destinations: We combine the well known tourist sites with many off-the-beaten-track, rarely visited destinations thus diverting tourist revenue and contact with responsible tourism into areas not usually benefiting as well as providing a more authentic view of the region visited.

Local products: As much as possible we aim to employ local personnel, (guides, drivers, agents etc), use local restaurants and smaller privately owned accommodation. Customers are also encouraged to buy and use local products and services as much as possible in order to support and stimulate the local economy.

Instruction: By explaining our methods and the reasons behind them local agents, guides and hotels are encouraged by us to adopt further responsible tourism practices themselves and guides and drivers are provided with additional training in this respect.

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