TOUR 1 (S); Isan, Insects & Laos small group tour
15 Days. From AUD $1,535

This small group tour gets off the major tourist paths in going to both North Eastern Thailand and Southern Laos.  Try some fried insects in Isan for dinner before visiting the world Heritage listed Wat Phu Champasak in Laos. Along the way see real local life without the tourists in Isan and relax  as always with the locals  in this less touristed part of laid back Laos.

Not much English is spoken along the way which means fun and games with your charades as you try to communicate with the always friendly local Thai and Laotian people. This again is a real travel experience rather than a tourist attractions tour.  While you may see a few tourists in southern Laos these days very few make it to Isan,  the collective name for the nineteen north eastern Thai provinces. This trip would also be ideal for a second trip after one of our other small group tours.  Dive even deeper into the local culture. This tour comes under the banner of a foodies tour also. Not everyday perhaps like others but with one of the best Thai  indoor food eatery markets in Roi Et and a fabulous outdoor one in Mukdahan plus possibly the best overall restaurant in all of Laos in Pakse then foodies eyes may well pop out of their heads at times.

( 3 star hotels x 5 nights, 1 to 2 star hotels x 7 nights, Simple guest house x 2 nights).

From AUD $1,535

Wat Arun
Temple of the emerald Buddha
Laotian Lady

Group Size: Minimum 1, Maximum 8

Guaranteed to depart

English speaking tour coordinator

Visiting
BANGKOK - ROI ET - KHON KAEN - MUKDAHAN - SAVANAKHET - PAKSE

Accommodation

  • Three star hotels, (5 nights).
  • One to two star guest houses and hotels, (7 nights).
  • Simple guest house, (2 nights).

Transport
Bus, Taxi, Plane.

Day Trips
Wat Phu Champasak, ( half day).

Entry Fees
All included when part of the itinerary.

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

Itinerary

Day 1:

Tonight our Isan, Insects & Laos small group tour will stay in;  BANGKOK - Our Isan, Insects & 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 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 Sukumvit shops.

OR? Maybe just lay back and have a traditional thai massage. A month in the capital wouldn't allow enough time to see it all. D.

Day 2:

BANGKOK - A free day to get the feel of this amazing city. Our tour coordinator will be more than happy to make suggestions on what to see or do as well as pointing you in the right direction after you decide which way to go.

As it's a Sunday the Chatuchak Weekend Market is a favorite place to go. With thousands of stalls don't expect to see it all in one day but do expect to purchase something you never even new existed before today. From a mouse to an elephant; Although it's so big even an elephant may be hard to find. One of the worlds great markets. Bartering, (always with a smile), is the name of the game as usual. B.

Day 3:

 

Tonight our Isan , Insects & Laos small group  tour will stay in; Roi Et - An early start today to the Mor Chit bus station to catch a bus to Roi Et and your first taste of Isan life. With it's long history Roi Et, (literally one hundred and one), is a great place to begin. A few tourist attractions include the Roi Et national museum and the almost seventy metre high standing buddha being hard to miss above the roofline at the ornate temple of Wat Burapha. Another tall walking buddha and the city pillar dominate  the island in the centre of lake Beung Phlan Chai which has some leisurely walking paths to stroll around on.  But it will be the huge indoor night market that you will most likely never forget about Roi Et. One of the largest undercover food markets in all the kingdom with an innumerable amount of food choices. From pizza and sushi to  local sprecialities not known to visitors that will keep you guessing. No need to guess though when you see the large piles of fried insects, (malaeng in Thai) on display. Insects are but one of the local specialities in this part of the world so don't miss  the chance of a taste test.  Squid, chicken or pork on a stick and dozens of other stir fries and curries will be a taste treat to behold. B.

 

Day 4:

ROI ET - A free day to  explore this very pleasant Isan town. A local shopping plaza will give you even more dining options as you get a view of an Isan department store  B.

Day 5:

 

Tonight our small group Isan, Insects & Laos tour will stay in; KHON KAEN -  A short local bus ride will see our small group tour in the much larger and more modern city of Khon Kaen. Khon Kaen 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 culture and comfort.  B.

 

Day 6:

Tonight our small group Isan, Insects & Laos tour will stay in MUKDAHAN. -  Another  bus trip today with the locals will see our small group  tour arrive in Mukdahan. One of the prettier Isan towns besides the Mekong river Mukdahan is now a trading town of sorts with a bridge across to Laos connecting it with trade routes to Indochina. Walking around the riverside market stalls is more of interest to see the local produce and odds and ends rather than being a tourist market as such. Mukdahan also has locals temples and a short distance out of town is Ho Khao Mukdahan a sixty five metre high tower with great riverside views and a small museum. A large open air market in the evening will again give you another chance to dine with the locals although large westerners may have to stand up as some of the chairs in this market are more suitable to small locals or a childs play house  than large let alone overweight tourists. This is another of those great markets we never seen in the west where first time vistors to Asia will be simply astounded by the variety and amount of food on offer. Definately a highlight of Isan. B.

Day 7:

MUKDAHAN - A totally free day to stroll around town at leisure. As Mukdahan does see a few tourists these days it now also has some regular restaurants with western food and regular chairs for those requiring some comfort food. No meals.

Day 8:

Tonight our small group Isan, Insects & Laos tour will stay in; SAVANAKHET - An international bus across the bridge into Laos this morning will see us in Savanakhet. Savanakhet is another of those quiet Laos riverside towns where one of the favorite pass times is having a Beerlao beside the Mekong. Traces of the French still remain with colonial era buildings lineing some of the quiet wide streets. Some of the tourist attractions include the Provincial Museum, a small Dinosaur Museum and the two temples of Wat Sainyaphum and Wat Rattanalangsi among other temples and old churches. For the most part though just strolling around this charming town is one of the best ways to enjoy it. No meals.

Day 9:

SAVANAKHET - A free day to do all of the above as well as have another Beerlao or coconut juice beside the river. CHEERS! B.

 

Day 10:

Tonight our small group Isan, Insects & Laos tour will stay in : PAKSE - Today by a very local bus for a six hour or so trip south will see our small group tour in Pakse the capital of Champasak province. Like Savanakhet Pakse now has a bridge over the Mekong to Thailand  meaning it has grown into a bit of a trading town also. But with the usual Laos laid back style it also makes for a more than relaxing stay. Possibly the chill out capital of Laos? Only a young town by Laos standards it was founded by the French in 1905. Some minor attractions in town are a small History museum and the usual array of Wats.  But only forty six kilometres out of town is the the reason so many tourists now arrive in Pakse. World Heritage listed  Wat Phu Champasak is one of the highlights of Laos.This fifth century Khmer religious complex is tiny in comparison to the Angkor kingdom but is no less intricate in design. If you can't make it to Angkor then Wat Phu Champasak is a more than worthy alternative. Last but not least Pakse has a few great restaurants with one in particular, in our opinion, being one of the best restaurants in all Laos. Thai, Laos, Western and Vietnamese food are on offer with the Vietnamese curry noodle salad being  one of the best choices to begin with.  No meals.

Day 11:

PAKSE - A half day tour of Wat Phu Champasak is included today. B.

Day 12:

PAKSE - A free day in Pakse to relax or stroll with numerous good restaurants and a Beerlao never  far away. B.

Day 13:

Tonight our small group Isan, Insects & Laos tour will stay in; UBON RATCHATHANI -  Today our small group tour will head back to Thailand and Ubon Ratchathani for an overnight stay and a last chance to have another Isan meal in this large city of "UBON". B.

Day 14:

Tonight our small group Isan, Insects & Laos tour will stay in;  BANGKOK - Our small group tour will take an a.m. short domestic flight to  Bangkok for a final night. Rest of the day is free. In the evening a farewell dinner will be had. D.

Day 15:

Our Isan, Insects & Laos small group tour is officially over after you check out of our 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, 15 Dec

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

Price

AUD $1,535
Single Suppliment: AUD $865