Laos and Thailand budget tour
Description of Laos and Thailand budget tour
This Laos and Thailand budget tour is designed to showcase each country’s many highlights without being too expensive. But while this epic two-week small group trip might be light on the spending, it definitely doesn’t go light on the thrills, or the cultural discovery.
One of the main reasons to recommend a budget tour of Laos and Thailand is that the cultural side of things is brought to the fire throughout. You’ll travel by public transport several times, whether it be an overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, or the bus over the border to Laos, enabling you to meet local people on their own travels. And while there are plenty of fun activities included in the tour, you’ll also enjoy lots of free time when you can do your own thing and get a feel for local life in some diverse towns and cities.
Throughout this 14-day odyssey around two of Southeast Asia’s most popular destinations you’ll be able to tick off the must-do experiences. Wander the stalls of the famous night market, or get a Thai massage, in Chiang Mai. Visit a (responsibly managed) elephant sanctuary. Watch as the orange-robed monks make their morning procession to collect alms from the faithful in Luang Prabang. Spend a relaxing day cruising the mighty Mekong River. And visit the limestone caves of Vang Vieng, perhaps even doing a little river tubing too.
You’ll be accompanied by an expert tour leader at all times, there to ensure everything runs smoothly, and they’ll be complimented at some stops such as Bangkok and Vientiane by local guides, who will provide fascinating walking tours that really bring these cities, their architecture, history and culture to life far better than just flicking through a guidebook.
Small group tours are a fantastic way to see and experience this part of the world. They offer great value and convenience, but they’re also designed to provide authentic cultural experiences. Plus, of course, you have a readymade set of travel companions from diverse backgrounds – it’s far from unusual to make lifelong friends.
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PlanetWe use local transport where safe, reliable and feasible to do so. When this isn’t possible, we use private locally-owned transport instead. As such, we ensure our vehicles/fleets are well maintained and fuel-efficient.
On this trip we also travel on an overnight train, public buses, local river boat, songthaews and tuk-tuks. Using public transport helps to protect the environment by reducing additional cars on the road and also provides our travellers with a great cultural experience. Many exchanges between locals and travellers have happened on our local transport journeys. It’s the responsible way to get around and can also be a lot of fun!
Saying no to plastic bags is so ingrained in our minds that we actively hand out a reusable cloth bag to every traveller on our trips. We want to help our passengers get on board by making it easier for them to avoid single-use plastic bags whilst discovering a destination with us.
PeopleAll our local tour leaders are recruited from within Thailand and Laos, creating stable jobs and contributing towards the regional economies. Their local knowledge is invaluable, and they are often the difference been a good holiday and a great one. They can recommend everything, from the best dishes to try in a local restaurant to taking you to a festival in a village that only the locals know about. This trip is designed to have loads of free time for you to hand pick exactly what optional activities you want to do, and our tour leaders will be on hand every day to help organise the activities that you choose.
We’ve been operating tours in these countries for over two decades and during this time we have built up a network of local suppliers. These suppliers don’t just offer a service, they also provide our travellers with a sense of family. We are committed to supporting locally owned businesses throughout our trips and we enjoy a superior service in return.
We ask all of our travellers to respect the local culture and our tour leaders are there to help assist our interactions with the local Thai and Laos people. On day one at our group meeting our leader will go through simple etiquette suggestions to help avoid offending the local people. We want to ensure we are travelling responsibly and by helping our travellers to immerse themselves in local customs and traditions they are able to gain a better understanding of the countries we travel through.
We have a foundation that was set up to empower travellers to have a positive impact on the communities they visit. It now supports more than 50 grassroots projects around the world. In Thailand we support an organisation called Friends of the Asian Elephant. Asian elephants face a number of troubling threats in Thailand. Ongoing human development has dramatically reduced the size of their habitat. As a result, elephants and humans often live in close contact with each other, confrontations are inevitable and many elephants are harmed in the process. Land mines are another risk. To make matters worse, elephants are frequently exploited for labour and tourism. Friends of the Asian Elephant was established to protect and conserve the welfare of elephants in Thailand. FAE’s elephant hospital provides free medical care for sick and injured elephants, as well as education for keepers. Its Mobile Vets Project sends teams to Northern Thailand to diagnose and treat elephants. It also works collaboratively with other organisations to advocate for elephant welfare. We were the first global operator to end elephant riding and have now been joined by over 160 travel companies after learning of the abuse.