TOUR 1 (S); Isan, Insects & Laos: small group adventure tour
15 Days. From AUD $1,785

This small group tour gets off the major tourist paths in going to both North Eastern Thailand and Southern Laos. While all our tours show you at least some of the real local culture this 15-day adventure is a full-on real travel experience.

This is about as Thai & Laos as it gets. 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 touristy 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 even friendlier than usual local Thai and Laotian people. This is a real travel adventure 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 northeastern Thai provinces.

This trip would also be ideal for a second travel tour 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 every day 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 $1,785

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 adventure tour will stay in;  BANGKOK - Welcome to amazing Thailand and the even more so Bangkok. Enjoy your first real Thai food with a welcome dinner in the evening. Maybe a pre dinner drink in the nearby Gecko Bar prior. A city of rush rush rush unless you take a boat on the Chao Praya river to see river life in a relaxed way. If you arrive early enough perhaps a visit to the Grand palace, Wat Pho or Wat Arun as just three easy to get to places by boat to begin with.  D.

Day 2:

BANGKOK - A free day to get the feel of this amazing city. Or just relax by the pool and have a Thai massage if jetlag needs attention. 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 Thailand & Laos adventure holiday will stay in; Roi Et - An early start today to the Mor Chit bus station to catch a bus to Roi Et and our 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 in 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 specialities 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 for 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 adventure tour will stay in; KHON KAEN -  After a short bus ride we will check into  our accommodation which is right on a fabulous local street vendors road that sets up daily for dinner with the locals only.  Khon Kaen has a number of actual tourist attractions also 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 can do a bit of partying in an Isan bar at night.  Khon Kaen has something for everyone from past history to real Thai  culture.  B.

 

Day 6:

Tonight our  Isan, Insects & Laos small group tour will stay in MUKDAHAN. -  Another bus trip today with the locals will see us 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 local 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. Yet another market style for dinner with the locals on offer with the large open air  street market in the evening  giving you another chance to dine with the locals  This is another of those great markets we never seen in the west where first time visitors to Asia will be simply astounded by the variety and amount of food on offer. Definitely 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  for those requiring some comfort food. No meals.

Day 8:

Tonight our small group travel tour  will stay in; SAVANAKHET - Laos here we come. 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 or in the small outdoor food paza. Traces of the French still remain with colonial era buildings lining 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 adventure tour will stay in : PAKSE - This is the day you will most likely find the most memorable of all as we have  a true adventure on a local bus for a real Laos travel experience. This six hour or so trip south will see our small group tour in Pakse the capital of Champasak province.  Along the way is a continual passing parade of local life as we stop for every waving hand in local villages where you will see roast chicken on a stick like no where else. 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 these numerous good restaurants and a Beerlao never  far away. Visiting their "Shopping Mall"  is another great way to see local life. B.

Day 13:

Tonight our small group Isan, Insects & Laos travel tour will stay in; UBON RATCHATHANI -  Today our small group tour will head back to Thailand by bus across the Mekong to the large city of Ubon Ratchathani for an overnight stay and a last chance to have another Isan meal in  a nearby  "UBON" night market. 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 with Insects & Laos travel adventure tour is officially over after we check out of our Bangkok accommodation. An airport transfer is included also. You are now one of the very few people who can  truly say they have been to  Thailand & Laos. A real travel experience. B.

Tour Departure Dates

2018
06 Oct, 20 Oct, 03 Nov, 17 Nov, 01 Dec, 15 Dec

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

Price

AUD $1,785
Single Suppliment: AUD $865