Thailand and Laos
Chiang Mai & Luang Prabang
Trip Details

Trip Dates

Jan 27, 2021 until Feb 02, 2021
$3,590 per person
10 Days / 9 Nights

Price Details

Cost is per person, based on double occupancy and a minimum of 20 persons traveling. Single supplement is an additional $1790. $25.00 per person non-refundable booking fee charged at time of booking. 25% deposit is required to reserve your space. Second 25% deposit is due July 2020, final payment is due October 2020. 

 

Inclusions: Rate includes touring, transfers and accommodations mentioned in the itinerary including:

Overnight accommodation is inclusive of hotel tax, hotel service charges and includes daily breakfast
Private transfers and transportation on tour 
Sightseeing with Local English speaking guides (one guide in each city)
Entrance fees and boat rides 
Meals as specified (meals only, no drinks/ water)
Airfares: Chiang Mai – Luang Prabang (Economy class with airport tax)
Cold towels and water on sightseeing days
Welcome kit
Airport assistance services upon arrival in Chiang Mai & Luang Prabang 
Laos Visa 

Does not include: International airfare, touring, transfers and meals not mentioned in the itinerary, items of a personal nature, $25.00 per person non-refundable booking fee

**PLEASE NOTE: As our invitations to travel with Ryan and Malaka on their escorted departures are limited and in high demand, we kindly request that only serious inquiries are made. Due to the fact that our departures are announced well over a year in advance in order to assist with our guest’s extended travel plans, they tend to sell out very quickly. We recognize plans can change and are always hopeful to be able to re-sell your space if we are in a sold out scenario, however, in the event we are unable to re-sell your space, we will charge a cancel fee equal to 10% of the cost of the trip. 

Trip Overview


Offered as a separate journey, or a post-trip offering for travelers embarking on the 2021 Founder's Journey Secrets of Southeast Asia, we invite you to join Malaka & Ryan on this backstage access tour through Thailand and Laos.
 

Featured Hosts

Ryan & Malaka Hilton

Ryan & Malaka Hilton

Both identified by esteemed travel publications Travel + Leisure as well as CondeNast Traveler for their expertise, Malaka and Ryan Hilton are considered...

Itinerary

  1. January 27, 2021
    Chiang Mai Arrival
    International Airport Arrival & Immigration Fast Track Service 

    Upon landing at the airport, you will be met and escorted through to the immigration fast track service or the normal Visa on Arrival booth if you require a visa. Your luggage will be collected and you will be escorted to meet your guide/driver at the arrival hall. Then you will be transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the date is at leisure,

    The regular check-in time is at 1400; early check-in is NOT included and subject to availability

    19.00, Meet with your guide at hotel and transfer to Rachamankha restaurant and enjoy a special Chef's menu dinner.

    A specially-designed menu includes to Baan dishes - Coriander Salad, Stuffed Roti with Seasoned Lamb, Spiced Shredded Pork, Tai Beef Ball Soup and Chicken Massaman - followed by a traditional Thai dessert.

    Meals: Dinner

    Accommodation: Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa/ Kasara Garden View Suite (F. Kasara Suite)

                                                                                                          

     

  2. January 28, 2021
    Chiang Mai – Full day tour with Doi Suthep, City lifestyle & 
    Baan Tong Luang           

    Breakfast at the hotel. 

    8.00: Morning visit to a vibrant food and flower market where local Thais do their shopping. Continue to Wat Suan Dok, the final resting place for the ashes of former kings of Chiang Mai and the Royal Family. 

    Drive 30min to Doi Suthep Mountain, enjoying the spectacular views of Northern Thailand as you head past mountains and forests, towards Wat Phra That, one of Northern Thailand’s most sacred temples. Founded in 1383 AD, the temple is reached by climbing 309 steps (or for the less fitness-minded, a tram is available for a small surcharge). The climb up is rewarded with a superb panoramic view over the city.

    Return to Chiang Mai and enjoy a 20min rickshaw ride through the quiet streets of the old town before returning to your hotel. Lunch on own. 

    14.00, Visit to Baan Thong Luang Eco-Agricultural Hilltribe Villages. Established in 2005, the fabricated village generates income for hill tribe peoples and aims to preserve their culture. Explore the village and its separate areas for each of the different Karen Long Neck Hill Tribes. The Karen women are known for wearing a stack of brass rings around their neck to elongate them, leading to their nickname of “Giraffe Women”. Visit displays from the hill tribes of Lahu Shibalah, Red Karenor Pakayor, Yaoor Miean, H’mong, A-Kha, Kayaand Palong Karen people, a unique opportunity to see and photograph people from various Thai hill tribes in one place. Return to your hotel.

    NOTES: Out of respect for the local culture, ladies should cover their shoulders with a long- or short-sleeved top and full-length trousers or a knee-length skirt. Gentlemen should wear trousers and a long- or short-sleeved shirt. 

    Meals: Breakfast

    Accommodation: Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa/ Kasara Garden View Suite (F. Kasara Suite) 

  3. January 29, 2021
    Chiang Mai – Full day tour with Elephant owner at Patara (private transfer, join-in activities)
     

    Have breakfast at the hotel. 

    8.30, Depart on a 30km (19mins) drive to Patara Elephant Farm and join the “Elephant Owner for a Day Morning Session” program. Specially designed for those who want to learn about and interact with elephants as an elephant owner would, the program teaches you how to approach your elephant, discern the elephant’s temperament, feed it and check its health. You will also learn how to take care of your own elephant, bathe and brush it in the river, how to ride on its neck and communicate through different spoken commands. You will also get a chance to ride bareback on your elephant and visit a local temple to learn about elephants in relation to Buddhist beliefs as well as how elephants are regarded by Thai people. 

    Continue on to a waterfall where you will enjoy a picnic lunch and a refreshing moment in/around the water with your elephant. The camp has adopted/rescued elephants from unsuitable living conditions (e.g. circuses, illegal logging camps, etc.), nursed them back to health and has so far released eight back into their natural habitat.

    NOTES: Approximate duration: 7-8 hours; Private transfer, join-in activity. 

    Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch

    Accommodation: Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa/ Kasara Garden View Suite (F. Kasara Suite) 

  4. January 30, 2021
    Chiang Mai – Haft day tour with Thai Cooking Sensations

    Chiang Mai – Luang Prabang 

    Breakfast at the hotel.

    8.00: The subtle flavors and unique presentation of Thai food have made it one of the most exciting cuisines anywhere in the world. Discover the secrets of Thai cuisine during this half-day cooking course which includes an introduction to Thai ingredients, as well as preparation and cooking of traditional Thai food featuring a selection of soups, salads, curries, satay and desserts in this four-dish course. Learn how to stir-fry, steam, and serve food the Thai way and impress your friends and family back home with your newly acquired skills. Enjoy your prepared dishes for lunch before being transferred back to your hotel. 

    12.30, Transfer to the Airport for your flight to Luang Prabang. 

    15.15, Flight to Luang Prabang.

    16.25, Upon arrival at Luang Prabang airport, look for the airport representative who will be holding a signboard with your name(s) on it. For a hassle-free experience, hand over your visa forms, passport, 1 passport photo and luggage tag(s) to the airport representative who will then escort you to the immigration counter where your picture will be taken. Proceed directly to the arrival hall where your guide will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Your visa will be processed while you are on the way to your hotel and your passport and luggage will be delivered to you at your hotel within approximately half an hour of arrival.

    NOTES: Please note that full passport details are required in advance for this service and you will need to sign the required visa forms (available on the plane and at the airport). Luggage tags must be clearly written and names to be the same as what is on the booking for ease of delivery

    18.00, Meet your guide at the hotel and enjoy the evening of traditional Lao Storytelling and Dinner.

    Where did Mount Phousi get its name? Who established the ancient city of Luang Prabang and how did it happen? Spend an evening of storytelling with Garavek and learn all about local myths, legends, and folktales. In an intimate theatre in Luang Prabang’s historic old town, listen as a Lao storyteller presents stories in English, with the live accompaniment of the khene, a Lao folk mouth instrument. After the performance, transfer to one of the best Lao restaurants in the country. After dinner, return to your hotel by private car.

    NOTES: Tour duration: 03 hours. Please note that there are no performances on public holidays.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

    Accommodation: Belmond La Residence Phou Vao Hotel/ Garden View Junior Suite

  5. January 31, 2021
    Luang Prabang – Early morning Alms Giving “Tak Bat” – Full day tour with ‘Food and Fun Biking’ and ‘Temples of Luang Prabang’

    5.30, The morning alms round (called “Tak Bat” in Lao) is a living Buddhist tradition for the people of Luang Prabang and dates back generations. Wake up before dawn to witness and participate in offering alms to a procession of hundreds of saffron-robed monks in the early morning light, truly a spiritual occasion! If you wish to make an offering, please inform your guide a day in advance so that a gift of alms can be prepared. After the almsgiving, watch the town come to life during a visit to the bustling morning market before returning to your hotel in time for breakfast.

    NOTES: Tour duration: 1.5 hours. If you do not wish to make an offering, please keep an appropriate distance and observe the ritual in silence. Please dress appropriately. Shoulders, chest and legs should be covered.

    7.00, Return to your hotel for breakfast

    8.00, Explore Luang Prabang and get your taste buds going by trying local street food and visiting food manufacturing places not seen by tourists. The walking and cycling is easy, takes only a half day, and was designed to allow you to safely try different local foods and discover places you wouldn’t otherwise go and have some fun along the way.

    We meet at the Tiger Trail Bike Shop on the main street opposite the fountain to meet your guide who will walk with you to the nearby morning market, where locals from the countryside around Luang Prabang sell their goods. You will discover different meats, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. Some of them might be unknown to you and your guide will explain how they are used in Lao kitchen. We will sample a few local delicacies as well. We then walk to the most famous Lao coffee shop where we can sit by the Mekong River enjoying coffee and a local Lao pastry (Khanom).

    We walk a short distance back to the Tiger Trail Bike Shop where we pick up bicycles and ride a short way to the area of Ban Mano where we sit at a local restaurant and try a variety of food including Neam Khao (a rice noodle crepe, filled with minced meat and mushrooms and assorted herbs. It is cut in little pieces and comes with a dipping sauce containing minced nuts, lemon, chili, coriander, and sweet fish sauce) and Khao Piak Khao (a local rice soup, that is usually eaten in the morning, slowly cooked with pork meat and meat broth, rounded with crushed black pepper and chopped coriander. Depending on your taste, an egg and/or fresh chili can be added to this meal).

    After that you will drive across the “old” bridge to the other side of the Nam Khan River and stop at a local rice noodle factory to learn about the manufacturing process and continue back via the “new” bridge to the city centre to visit a local “Kaw Chi” bakery, that supplies many street stalls and restaurants in town with their baguettes, a leftover of the French colonialism days. If the time is right, you may witness the bread being taken out of gigantic wood-fired ovens.

    It is then a ten-minute drive to enjoy a game of “Petanque” or “Boulle”, another French relic that is quite popular amongst locals. You can try their menu, here yourself (not included in price). A chilled bottle of “Beerlao” goes good with both, the game and the food. But be aware that you have to cycle back after that. The tour ends with you returning the bicycles to the Tiger Trail Bike Shop around 13.00.

    NOTES: Duration: 5 hours. Please check the weather forecast and wear appropriate clothing/ rain-gear. Road conditions: Good road conditions, mostly you ride on a paved road. Level of biking tours: Easy.

    14.00, Take a half-day walking tour exploring some of the highlights of this incredibly picturesque town. Located at the confluence of the Mekong River and the Nam Khan (Khan River), UNESCO-protected Luang Prabang is a beautiful mix of ancient gilded temples, saffron-clad monks, faded Indochinese villas and peaceful river scenery.  Start with a visit to the Royal Palace, which is now a National Museum housing precious artifacts that belonged to the Royal Family. Drive or enjoy a leisurely walk to explore some of Luang Prabang’s famed temples including Wat Visoun, Luang Prabang’s oldest temple. Notice its unusually shaped stupa designed to look like a lotus flower but referred to by locals as “the watermelon stupa”; Wat That Luang, traditionally the cremation site for Lao royalty; the gorgeous Wat Mai with its detailed golden reliefs depicting scenes from village life; and Wat Xieng Thong, built in the 17th century. Notice the stunning “tree of life” mosaic set on its western exterior wall. End the tour by climbing up to the top of Mount Phousito admire the panoramic views across the Mekong and Khan rivers as well as the mountain range. Return to your hotel. 

    NOTES: Tour duration: 04 hours. Please dress appropriately for visits to religious sites. Shoulders, chest and legs should be covered.

    Meals: Breakfast

    Accommodation: Belmond La Residence Phou Vao Hotel/ Garden View Junior Suite

  6. February 1, 2021
    Luang Prabang – Half day to Kuang Si Waterfall & Half day Rice Farming Experience

    Breakfast at the hotel 

    8.00, Spend a half day exploring one of Luang Prabang’s most picturesque sights, the cascading Kuang Si Waterfall with electric turquoise waters. Depart on a 1hr drive south of Luang Prabang, with stops at the vibrant Phousi Market and the nearby OckPop Tock Weaving Centre, a social enterprise working primarily in the field of textiles, handicrafts and design. 

    Continue on to the waterfalls, and take a leisurely hike through the natural park past the Asian Bear Rescue Center. Swimming in the refreshing waters is possible, although between November and January the water temperature is very cool. Enjoy your lunch before returning to your hotel by private vehicle.

    NOTES: Tour duration: 4.5 hours. Includes lunch (for morning tours only) 

    13.30, Spend an enjoyable half day on a community-based rice farm situated in the idyllic countryside, surrounded by mountains and rice paddies. Experience the life of a farmer by trying your hand at some farm activities. All can join in and there are great photo opportunities. Alternatively, watch life on the farm unfold from the comfort of a traditional Lao rice house balcony surrounded by rice terraces and an organic vegetable farm. 

    During the experience, you will also have the opportunity to learn about bamboo weaving, blacksmith work, and sugar cane processing. After, tour the organic garden and learn how natural herbs are used in traditional medicine.

    NOTES: Tour duration: 04 hours. Comfortable and easily washable clothing is recommended.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accommodation: Belmond La Residence Phou Vao Hotel/ Garden View Junior Suite

  7. February 2, 2021
    Depart Luang Prabang

    After breakfast, free at leisure until transfer to the Airport for your departure flight.  

    The check-out time at the hotel is 12.00, late check-out is not included and subject to availability. 
     

    Meals: Breakfast

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