Walking with Elephants
The day has arrived at last for your family adventure to Thailand and Laos! Once you touch down in Chiang Mai you’ll be met by a guide and transferred to your hotel to settle in. On your first full day in the city, you’ll visit the Wat Srisuphan temple grounds where you’ll meet monks and learn how they make silver plates. You and the family will make your own personalized ones using patterns taught at the workshop – what an authentic souvenir to take home! Afterward, you’ll explore more of the city before hitting up the evening street food markets for the best Thai food of your life.
The next day you’ll immerse yourself in the local culture, you’ll all don a pair of traditional fisherman’s pants before venturing out of the city to meet a local family. Mr. Prapat will show you around the local village before you learn to cook with his family. Your last full day will be spent at the Elephant Nature Park for a day of wildlife; you’ll hear all about the important work they do, meet the elephants and even get the chance to bathe the majestic giants.
Chiang Rai & the Golden Triangle
Today you’re all off to the quieter city of Chiang Rai where you’ll visit Wat Rong Khun, also known as the White Temple and one of Thailand’s best-known temples.
It’s time to say goodbye to Thailand and hop aboard a longtail boat for a gentle cruise down the Laotian Mekong. The cruise takes two days to reach Luang Prabang and you’ll enjoy an overnight stop in Pakbeng along the way. Along your journey, you’ll also have time to visit a hill tribe settlement, visit a local market and see how traditional rice alcohol is made. You’ll also stop at the Pak Ou Caves which contain thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues – quite the sight!
You’ll kick off your stay in Luang Prabang with a trip to Ock Pop Tok Living Crafts Centre to learn more about the fascinating world of Lao textiles and handicrafts in a beautiful garden. Here on the banks of the Mekong, you’ll take part in a natural dye class where you’ll make your own products to bring home. Afterward, you’ll visit Kuang Si Waterfall, a series of stunning waterfalls and pools you can swim in. On the way back to your hotel you’ll stop at the Free the Bears sanctuary where you’ll learn all about the rescued bears.
On your last full day, you’ll explore Luang Prabang, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, with a local guide. Together you’ll explore the National Museum and fascinating Buddhist temples.
It’s time to make your way to the capital city, Vientiane! Once you’ve settled into your hotel you’ll visit one of the city’s oldest temples, Wat Sisaket. You’ll continue on to COPE, an organization that works with Lao residents affected by landmines from the American-Vietnam war. Next up you’ll visit Patuxay; referred to as the Arc de Triomphe of Laos, it offers fantastic views. In the afternoon you’ll focus on culture with local lunch, visit Buddha Park and a stop at the Lao Disabled Women' Development Centre.
Champasak & the 4000 islands
After breakfast, it’s onward to Champasak, a fantastic base for exploring. You’ll spend a day adventuring through Si Phan Don - the Mekong Rivers 4000 Island region where you’ll bike around one of the largest inhabited islands passing by colonial buildings, rice paddies, and farms. After exploring the Lippi Waterfalls you’ll return to the boat and continue your cruise along the Mekong River; you might even be lucky enough to spot the rare Irrawaddy dolphin!
On Day 16 you’ll depart for home reminiscing about your wonderful family adventure through Thailand and Laos.