TOUR 27 – (M); Gorgeous China & Laos: Small Group Tour
28 Days. From AUD $3,800

THIS TOUR IS CURRENTLY NOT OPERATING.

This China & Laos small group tour combines the best of South West China and Laos. The  China part of this small group tour takes in some history, different cultures including some local minorities and you will get to taste cuisine that rivals most others.

Our reputation for travelling at a relaxed pace amid great scenery comes to a peak in Yunnan Province with Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the world’s largest and most beautiful gorges. Add Dali and UNESCO World Heritage listed Lijiang before heading south towards Laos and the two less touristy cities of Jinghong and Mengla and you have a bit of everything.

Heading onto Laos; Firstly a Baktrax destination of Udomxai before another UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Luang Prabang. Then more sensational scenery precedes the slowest capital city in all S.E. Asia, Vientiane. All this travel is done in a sea of green jungle vistas and where time means the bus departs soon.

What time? Soon! Lastly our small group tour heads back to Thailand for a visit to one of the most unusual temples on the planet of Sala Kaew Ku before an overnight train back to S.E. Asia’s busiest capital.

garuda bird sits atop a temple in Laos
two women from the lahu sheleh hill tribe
rural chinese woman in Yunnan Province, China

From AUD $3,800

Group Size: Minimum 1, Maximum 8

Guaranteed to depart

English speaking tour coordinator

Visiting
BANGKOK - KUNMING (China) - DALI - LIJIANG - WALNUT GARDEN amid TIGER LEAPING GORGE - JINGHONG - MENGLA - UDOMXAI (Laos) - LUANG PRABANG - VANG VIENG - VIENTIANE - NONG KHAI (Thailand).

Accommodation

  • Three star hotels, (4 nights).
  • One to two star guest houses and hotels, (11 nights).
  • Simple guest house, (8 nights).
  • Basic guest house, (3 nights).
  • Overnight sleeper train, (1 night).

Transport
Bus, Train, Boat, Taxi, Plane.

Day Trips
 

  • Dali region, (half day).
  •  Luang Prabang; Unguided Mekong river boat trip, local villages, and a beautiful waterfall. (half day).
  • Sala Kaew Ku temple, (two to three hours).

Entry Fees
All included when part of the itinerary.

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

Itinerary

Day 1:

Tonight our China & Laos small group tour will stay in; BANGKOK - Our China and Laos small group tour officially starts when you check into your Bangkok accommodation. A welcoming dinner will be had in the evening. If you arrive early enough your free time could be spent visiting the enormous Chatuchak weekend market and/or, 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. D.

Day 2:

BANGKOK - A totally free day to relax from any jet lag or start exploring any of the above listed attractions in this City of Angels B.

Day 3:

Tonight our China & Laos small group tour will stay in; KUNMING - A short international flight from Bangkok today will see our small group tour in Kunming. Known as  Spring City because of it's year round mild climate. Our accommodation is smack bang in the middle of it all. The Bird and Flower Market is just one of a number of nearby attractions. Cheap taxis and buses make them all easy to visit. B.

Day 4:

KUNMING - After breakfast in the roof top restaurant over looking the city skyline you will then have a  free day  to get out and explore all that you saw from above with a restaurant or two always close at hand as you stroll around this great central location. B.

Day 5:

Tonight our China & Laos small group tour will stay in; DALI - A morning bus trip will see our small group tour in the old city of Dali. This is the beginning of some great shopping opportunities. Dali is another of those magical destinations where even though the ourists have arrived the historical atmosphere still remains. The Bai minorities are the main group you will see as you meander through the narrow streets and laneways. A joy to behold.  B.

Day 6:

DALI - A  tour with a local operator today will see us visiting some minority villages and local markets  among other interesting sights. Picturesque Erhai Lake  in the backgound as we go. B.

Day 7:

Tonight our China & Laos small group tour will stay in; LIJIANG - A short morning bus trip will see us in another travellers favourite town of UNESCO World  Heritage listed  Lijiang with its narrow maze of cobblestone streets and canals.

Enjoy getting lost when you wander not far from your accommodation. Minority people and shopping opportunities everywhere. The Naxi is the main minority group in town so the chance to sample some Naxi speciality foods will be on hand. Maybe a Naxi sandwich of goats cheese, tomato and fried egg between two pieces of the local flat bread known as Baba.

But with  limited time and so much to see there wont be much time to eat. The Black Dragon Pool outside the old city is only a short walk away through the new, more modern city, but again, like Dali, the main attraction is strolling around the old city soaking up all the atmosphere. Another magical place. B.

Day 8:

LIJIANG - A totally free day to self explore Lijiang old town and with no traffic in the old town we can stroll at our leisure. Most attractions such as the Mu Family Mansion and market Square are very close at hand. B. 

Day 9:

Tonight our China & Laos small group tour will stay in; WALNUT GARDEN - A short local bus ride and then taxi will deliver our small group tour to another fantastic highlight of this trip, Walnut Garden. Our accommodation on one side of the Yangtze River sits half way up Tiger Leaping Gorge at 2,000 metres. On the other side of the Yangtze is a massive wall of rock reaching almost 4,000 metres. Even higher snow capped peaks complete the backdrop. No meals 

Day 10:

WALNUT GARDEN - Maybe a casual stroll around one of the biggest gorges in the world today or just relax at our accommodation with a meal and a beer as you stare in awe at this inspirational destination. Simply sensational! B.

Day 11:

Tonight our China & Laos small group tour will stay in; DALI - An early start for a longer days travel today as we return to Dali for an overnight stay. No meals.

Day 12:

Tonight our China & Laos small group tour will stay in; KUNMING - Return to Kunming for the night. B.

Day 13:

Tonight our China & Laos small group tour will stay in; JINGHONG - Transfer to the airport this morning for the short domestic flight to Jinghong in Xishuangbanna prefecture . B.

Day 14:

JINGHONG - A free day in Jinghong. Possibly a massage or some shopping in a modern Chinese department store. Another interesting city with a leisurely stroll a good way to take it all in. A bit warmer though as we are now back in  sub tropical climate as we near laos. B.

Day 15:

Tonight our China & Laos small group tour will stay in; MENGLA - A short early morning bus ride sees our small group tour nearing Laos with your last  night in China in Mengla. Think amazingly long tunnels and bridges today as the new road through the mountains has cut the travel time between Jinghong and Mengla in half. Arrive in time for a look around and an interesting time trying to find a meal with hardly a word of English on the street. No meals

Day 16:

 

Tonight our China & Laos small group tour will stay in; UDOMXAI -  By bus this morning to the nearby Chinese/Laos border immigration checkpoint followed by another bus to the Northern Laos city of Udomxai. B.

 

 

Day 17:

UDOMXAI - A free day to explore laid back Udomxai. Maybe the local market or try some new food as well as your first chance to try a fabulous Beerlao. After dinner the energetic may like to walk up to a hilltop temple with some fireflies along the way to entertain you. Those wanting another masage can try another version at the Lao Red Cross. B.

Day 18:

Tonight our China & Laos small group tour will stay in; LUANG PRABANG -  By bus again today will see our small group tour in the wonderful Unesco World Heritage City of Luang Prabang. Yet again the best way to see Luang Prabang is with a leisurely stroll.

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. No meals

Day 19:

LUANG PRABANG - A half day unguided trip today on the Mekong  to visit the spiritual caves of Pak Ou and a local village or two. B.

Day 20:

LUANG PRABANG -  Now that the harder to get to attractions are out of the way we have a totally free day to explore all the nearby ones. Finish your day with some shopping at the long street market that sets up every evening with lots of clothing, arts and crafts to tempt and amaze you. B.

Day 21:

Tonight our Laos small group tour will stay in; VANG VIENG - Today by bus our small group tour will see some of the loveliest scenery in all South East Asia as we wind our way to Vang Vieng. Vang Vieng itself is surrounded by stunning limestone karst scenery and on arrival we can sit down and relax with the sunset. B.

 

Day 22:

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. No meals.

Day 23:

VIENTIANE - 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 24:

Tonight our Laos small group tour will stay in; NONG KHAI - Our small group tour will cross the Friendship Bridge today for a night on the Thai side of the Mekong in Nong Khai. One place highly reccommended for a look in Nong Khai is the Village Weaver Handicrafts Shop,  which was set up to encouage local girls to earn money by weaving and sells some very high quality silk and cotton products. Shops and markets along the riverside are of interest also.B.

Day 25:

Tonight your China & Laos small group tour will stay on; OVERNIGHT TRAIN -  This morning we take a short trip out of town  by Tuk Tuk to the Hindu - Buddhist inspired temple of Sala Kaew Ku where a multitude of weird and wonderful statues have been created by a renowned local monk.   The  rest of the day in this extremely pleasant riverside town at  leisure before we transfer to the train station for the always enjoyable overnight sleeper train to Bangkok.. B.

 

Day 26:

Tonight our China and Laos small group tour will stay in; BANGKOK - Our small group tour will arrive a.m. in Bangkok . The rest of the day is free to explore, relax and/or sup. No meals.

Day 27:

BANGKOK - A totally last free day to shop up a storm or visit more of the fascinating attractions the Big Mango has to offer. A farewell dinner will be had in the evening. B. D.

Day 28:

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

Tour Departure Dates

Tour Departure Dates

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

Price

AUD $3,800
Single Suppliment: AUD $1,550