TOUR 21 – (B); Cash Before Comfort Laos in depth: Small Group Tour
21 Days. From AUD $1,950

This Cash Before Comfort small group tour of Laos is aimed primarily at the under forty fives, (but certainly not restricted to), who may still have to worry more about cash and less about comfort.

Because of the distances and the geography involved we begin in Chiang Mai and finish in Bangkok. If you need a domestic flight on arrival from Bangkok to Chiang Mai  we can probably arrange it cheaper for you depending on where you arrive in Bangkok from and which airline you are using.

It takes in all the usual highlights of Laos plus some lesser known but no less interesting destinations. Get a feel of Thailand also with Chiang Mai,  the Isan city of Khon Kaen & Bangkok.

Once you arrive in Chiang Mai you will only need a few extra dollars to cover your arrival transfer,  meals not included and any drinks you require. (As always your tour coordinator will tell you the cheapest and best places for these also). The transport and accommodation are certainly not the most comfortable available on this trip but it is still adequate enough to get us, along with the locals, where we want to go and you will still get a good nights sleep in a clean room also.

 NOTE: Some 1 to 2 star and 3 star accommodation means not all comfort is lost though.

ACCOMMODATION = (3 star hotel x 2 nights, 1 to 2 star hotels x 7 nights, Simple guest houses x 11 nights).

PRICE IS THE BOTTOM LINE ON THIS TRIP RATHER THAN COMFORT. This means giving more people the chance to experience other cultures while still having a relaxing holiday and a real travel experience.

MAKE NO MISTAKE. There is no better value for money small group tour to be found in Laos.

From AUD $1,950

Fishing Boats
Laotian Lady
mekong

Group Size: Minimum 1, Maximum 8

Guaranteed to depart

English speaking tour coordinator

Visiting
CHIANG MAI - HUAY XAI - PAKBENG - UDOMXAI - LUANG PRABANG - VANG VIENG - VIENTIANE -THA KAEK - SAVANAKHET - KHON KAEN - BANGKOK

Accommodation

  • Three star hotel, (2 nights).
  • One to two star hotel, (7 nights).
  • Simple guest houses, (11 nights).

Transport
Bus, Boat, Taxi, Plane.

Day Trips

  •  Luang Prabang; Unguided Mekong river boat trip to Pak Ou caves and the beautiful Kuang Si waterfall. (half day).
  • Laos visa fee.

Entry Fees
All included when part of the itinerary.

Meals
15 meals included as per itinerary.
B = Breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner.

Itinerary

Day 1:

Tonight our cheap Laos small group tour will stay in; CHIANG MAI - Our cheap Laos small group  tour officially starts when you check into your Chiang Mai accommodation. A welcoming dinner will be had in the evening. Chiang Mai is a favorite destination with all visitors. Think, Shopping, food, party or relaxing by the pool after a Thai massage. D.


Day 2:

CHIANG MAI - A totally full day to do as you please in Chiang Mai. Just a few of the easy to visit sights by foot, Tuk Tuk or Sawngthaew, (share taxi) include Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Jet Yot and Wat Phan Tao among dozens of others.

If you don't temple out there is still the mountain top temple of Phra That Doi Suthep, approx fifteen kilometres away in a national park. For Shoppers it doesn't get much better than Chiang Mai. After a day at Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Centre, Worowat Market, Airport Plaza and/or dozens of other speciality shops all over the place you can barter hard at the famous Night Bazaar. Arts and crafts, textiles, silver and clothing are but a few of the great bargains to be had in Chiang Mai. A budget trip to a dentist is another possablity as well. B.

 

Day 3:

 

Tonight our cheap Laos small group tour will stay in: HUAY XAI - An early start after the buffet breakfast will take us by bus to  the Thai border town of Chiang Khong where we will change to a Tuk Tuk to reach the Thai immigration post before crossing the friendship bridge into Laos.  Then another Laos Tuk Tuk after immigration duties into Huay Xai which is far more  laid back and charming than it's Thai counterpart which is now overrun with tourists. B.

 

Day 4:

Tonight our Laos small group tour will stay in; PAKBENG - MEKONG RIVER TRIP;  While all the others are up early to cross the river we will have a lazier time before also boarding a slow boat to Pakbeng arriving late afternoon. BUT! unlike all the others who again board the boat early the next day we will spend a full day in Pakbeng as it an extremly scenic riverside town that deserves more than just an overnight sleep. No meals.

Day 5:

PAKBENG - Have a sleep in after the previous long day then awake to a charming riverside town that we will almost have to ourselves after the tourists hordes have departed and before the next lot arrive. Add a French bakery or two, some decent restaurants and a Beerlao beside the scenic riverside and you will see why we choose to stay longer than most. B.

Day 6:

 Tonight our Laos small group tour will stay in UDOMXAI - Another laid back Laos morning  before a short bus ride to Udomxai   for an overnight stop in a far lesser visited Laos town. Udomxai sees few tourists so is an chance to see a real Laos town. A market makes for an interesting stroll and dinner will be with the locals for sure as not much exists for tourists as such.  So just lay back and enjoy the experience. No meals.

Day 7:

Tonight our Laos small group tour will stay in; LUANG PRABANG - It will most likely be noodle soup with the locals for breakfast or a rice dish at the bus station before  a long but extremely interesting day by bus today that will  give you a real insight into rural Laos life.  First time Asian travellers will be astonished at what they see. The day ends with the highlight of Laos in Luang Prang the once royal capital of Laos. No meals.

Day 8:

 

LUANG PRABANG - Delicious baguettes and coffee at the nearby market will start the day well before a half day unguided tour with a local operator  that will include a trip on the Mekong  to visit the spiritual caves of Pak Ou and the beautiful Kuang Si waterfall.   B

Day 9:

 

LUANG PRABANG - After visiting the hard to get to places you now have a totally free day to explore all the near by attractions.

WHERE TO START? Just about anywhere as Luang Prabang is one of the great travel destinations in Asia today. First up, while you still have the energy, try walking up the hundred or more steps to Phu Si Temple with fantastic views as the reward. Then onto, in no particular order, The Royal Palace Museum, Wat Ho Pha Bang, Wat Xieng Thong, Wat Visoun, Wat That Luang, Wat Manolom or another dozen or so other Wat's.

Cooking courses can be found  at: Tamarind; Tamnak Lao Three Elephant Cafe;  Massage and Spa's are another way to enjoy Luang Prabang for the not so energetic. Markets and other great eateries will see you get enough nourishment to complete the task at hand whatever you decide on. Dinner by the Mekong with a Beerlao being the perfect way to finish the day. In the evening a Craft and Clothing Market thrives as the main road becomes a Walking street for some of the  best local wares to be snatched up at bargain prices. B.

 

Day 10:

 

Tonight our Laos small group tour will stay in;  VANG VIENG - Another long day by mini van through some of the best scenery in the region sees us in the scenic town of Vang Vieng beside the Nam Song river. Vang Vieng is known for it's adventure activities  so for those interested there is rock climbing, caving or tubing down the river. For the rest of us walking around enjoying the scenery with a Beerlao is enough excitement. Partying at night is another option also. No meals.

Day 11:

VANG VIENG - A full day to do the adventurous stuff or relax with a coffee amid the great scenery. B.

Day 12:

Tonight our Laos small group tour will stay in; VIENTIANE - A shorter drive today sees us in what surely must be South East Asia's smallest and sleepiest capital city. With only a little bit of the usual Asian big city hustle and bustle beside the Mekong lies Vientiane.

Sightseeing begins with a short Jumbo ride to the most important temple in Laos of Wat That Luang. After that most sights can be seen on foot and include  Wat Si Saket, Wat Si Muang or wat Mixai among others. Then the Arc De Triomphe look alike of Patuxai, Lao National Museum or enjoy a drink at the central Fountain Circle. No meals.

Day 13:

 

IENTIANE - A free day to explore this sleepy hollow. Don't miss the Morning Market, (open all day), which today resembles a shopping mall rather than the wet market of yesteryear. Iphone anyone? B.

 

Day 14:

Tonight our Laos small group tour will stay in;  THA KAEK - Heading south today we will have an overnight stop in another Mekong riverside town. Tha Kaek sees few tourists but has enough charm for a brief stop and another chance for a Beerlao in a riverside restaurant. B.

Day 15:

Tonight our Laos small group tour will stay in; SAVANAKHET -  Today by bus we will arrive in the  next riverside town of Savanakhet. Known as Savan by most it has wide boulevards and French architecture meaning an even more charming town without the tourist hordes also. B.

Day 16:

SAVANAKHET -  A free day to meander around Savan. Not much in the way of actual tourist attractions,  just another laid back Laos town to relax and enjoy for itself. A small local food market offers a chance to dine with the locals in the evening. Or perhaps a nearby  more upmarket French restaurant? B.

Day 17:

Tonight our small group  Laos tour will stay in; KHON KAEN -  An early start to the bus station, (Think baguettes and coffee  from bus station vendors for breakfast today), will see us on an international bus back to Thailand. After immigration duties we will arrive in Mukdaharn where we will catch another bus to Khon Kaen.  The  city of Khon Kaen is  far bigger and more modern  than anything we saw in Laos and has a number of actual tourist attractions including Wat Nong Wang Muang and Wat That. Museums include a National Museum a City Museum and an Art and Culture Museum so you will most likely  see a few other tourists about. This  means that along with everything Isan you may also find some comfort food from home and do a bit of partying in an Isan bar at night. The large lake of Beung Kaen Nakhon makes for a pleasant stroll before a meal or snack at one of the lakeside eateries. So Khon Kaen has something for everyone from past history to modern day Thai culture along with a plate of fried insects.  No meals.

 

Day 18:

KHON KAEN -  A free day to explore the above attractions. Have a Thai massage perhaps or another plate of insects for lunch. Khon Kaen again has a real feel good character about it whatever you choose to do. B.

Day 19:

Tonight our small group Laos tour will stay in BANGKOK -Another early start will see us head to Bangkok by  bus for a final two nights in the Thai capital. No meals.

 

Day 20:

BANGKOK - A full day to experience the complete opposite of the Laos capital with the most hectic city in the region. No one ever gets bored in Bangkok. Just walking out of your accommodation is an adventure in itself. Traffic jams take on a new dimention in Krungthep, (city of angels), as the locals know it. Maybe start with Wat Phra Kaew & the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, MBK or Siam shopping centres or take a boat ride with the locals on the Chao Phraya express to some local shops in Nonthaburi.       

A few of the  dozens of other options may be Vimanmek Teak Mansion, Chinatown, Wat Traimit, Jim Thompsons House, Silom or Sukhumvit road shops.        

OR? Maybe just lay back and have a traditional Thai Massage. A month in the capital wouldn't allow you enough time to see it all.  A farewell dinner will be had in the evening. B. D.

 

Day 21:

Our cheap Laos small group tour is officially over after you check out of your Bangkok accommodation. An airport transfer is included also. B.

 

Tour Departure Dates

2017
01 Jul, 15 Jul, 05 Aug, 19 Aug, 02 Sep, 16 Sep, 07 Oct, 21 Oct, 04 Nov, 18 Nov, 02 Dec, 16 Dec

2018
06 Jan, 20 Jan, 03 Feb, 17 Feb, 03 Mar, 17 Mar, 07 Apr, 21 Apr, 05 May, 19 May, 02 Jun, 16 Jun, 07 Jul, 21 Jul, 04 Aug, 18 Aug, 01 Sep, 15 Sep, 06 Oct, 20 Oct, 03 Nov, 17 Nov, 01 Dec

Any other date on application. (Minimum two people).

Price

P/P, T/S,
AUD $1,950
Single Suppliment: AUD $1,150