Thai and Lao Country Routes

- A Secret Retreats journey -
13 Days / 12 Nights
from 2,825 USD /person

 

ITINERARY BOOK
 


This journey has been personally designed by Lamphoune Voravongsa.
Thailand and Laos have many common points or similarities: we share the Mekong, we share a genuine smile and sense of hospitality, we share Buddhism and a cultural heritage... we invite our guests here to discover the beauty of our country sides.

All our itineraries have generally been constructed on the basis of the rooms that have the most charm or best view, and not necessarily the first prices, nor the most expensive suites.
We can of course adjust according to your request.

Highlights of the Journey:

Highlights of the Journey:

  • A night in Bangkok, one of Asia’s iconic cities.
  • Stay in a private riverside residence near Ayutthaya.
  • Enjoy a taste of the region with local cuisine and market tours.
  • Visit the ancient cities of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai.
  • Experience the rich cultures of Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang.
  • Stay in a royal residence in Luang Prabang.
  • Day cruises along the Mekong.

Lao Tzu once wrote “Silence is a source of great strength”. We invite you to listen to silence through this journey
A voyage of discovery through the birthplace of modern Thailand and the ancient kingdoms of Laos, Lanna and Siam. Explore and enjoy the rich and diverse cultures and lifestyles of these timeless regions, from the hilltribes of northern Thailand and northern Laos to the life along the rivers of central Thailand and the enigmatic Mekong. A journey to the heart of Thailand’s and Laos’s heritage and history.


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Your Journey Day by Day

13 Days / 12 Nights from 2,825 USD /person

based on a family of 4 traveling together

 

 
Day 1 : Bangkok (-/-/-)
Arrival at Bangkok airport. A chauffeur will meet you from your flight and take you to the riverfront, near the Grand Palace where your hotel is located. After check-in, no fixed program, you can relax by the pool, enjoy the view over Wat Arun and the river or walk around this historic quarter of Bangkok. Our concierge will be ready to recommend what to see and where to dine as required. Overnight in a Suite.
HOTEL: Chakrabongse Villas (Garden Suite)
Day 2 : Bangkok – Ayutthaya - Suphanburi – Bohemian Residence (B/L/D)
After breakfast at the hotel, your driver and guide will be ready to take you to Ayutthaya, the first capital city of Siam. Your guide will escort you to the main sites of interest including: Wat Phra Si Sanphet, the symbol of Ayutthaya within the walls of the former royal palace, Wat Mongkhon Bophit, Wat Yai Chai Mongkol and its revered reclining Buddha and Wat Chaiwatthanaram by the river.
After lunch in a local restaurant you will head north to Suphanburi by road before embarking on a 20minute river cruise to your home for the next two nights, The Bohemian’s Residence. Your private 2-bedroom villa overlooks the river and includes a living room, terrace, swimming pool 13.5 x 3.5m and garden. The boat is available anytime and the housekeeper is at your service, discreet but always present. Your guide is also on hand if required. Afternoon tea and dinner will be served at the villa, poolside, riverside or in the dining room as you prefer.
HOTEL: The Bohemian's Residence
Day 3 : The Bohemian's Residence (B/L/D)
We recommend discussing your preferred program of the day with your guide one day in advance. You may choose to simply relax and enjoy your villa, or perhaps just go for a stroll or cycle ride in the village...We would recommend an early rise to give alms to the monks from the local temple and witness this ancient and daily Buddhist ritual, returning to your villa for breakfast. And fishing on the river with a local’s guidance to ensure a good catch is not to be missed and you can cook and enjoy your catch of the day, fish and shrimp, that evening.
Lunch at the villa, unless you prefer to find a local eatery by boat along the river... Enjoy a nap on your terrace, or by the pool, to the sound of the gently flowing river. Later take the boat upstream with your guide to meet the monks of a local temple and enjoy the simplicity of life along the river’s peaceful banks. Dinner served at the villa, perhaps including your fisherman’s catch of the day too.
HOTEL: The Bohemian's Residence.
Day 4 : The Bohemian's Residence – Samchuk – The Bohemian's Residence (B/L/D)
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast after which your guide will take you to visit Samchuk, a neighbouring town, famed for its traditional market. Unchanged for centuries, Samchuk’s market is a charming place to witness local life, stroll the market’s alleyways and explore the wooden shops over the river with your guide on-hand to answer your questions or help you shop and chat with the locals. Lunch will be in a local restaurant next to the market before returning to the villa in the afternoon. Dinner will be served at the villa.
HOTEL: The Bohemian's Residence
Day 5 : The Bohemian's Residence – Uthai Thani – Sukhothai (B/L)
Today you leave your riverside residence and head to Sukhothai, the city that gives its name to the golden age of Thai culture. You will depart after breakfast first stopping at the rural town of Uthai Thani an area of unspoiled natural beauty where local life has revolved around the river for centuries. Your first stop will be the Thasung Temple elegantly covered with small pieces of mirrored glass. You will then leave by boat for a short cruise on the beautiful river Sakaekrang to see the local riverside lifestyles and the famed floating gardens. Lunch will be served during the cruise. After the cruise, you will continue the drive to Sukhothai, reaching your hotel at the end of the afternoon. Dinner at your leisure.
HOTEL: Sri Wilai Sukhothai Resort (Superior Room)
Day 6 : Sukhothai - Lampang - Chiang Mai (B/-/-)
Today will be devoted to visiting ancient Sukhothai, the first capital city of Siam and also named as Thailand’s golden age. Your visit will start at the Sukhothai Historical Park, a protected and preserved area of archeological remains and enigmatic ruins of once glorious royal residences and temples housing Buddha images of the Sukhothai period. Taking a bicycle around the park is the best way to see this city’s remains – electric trams are also available to tour the park. Wat Mahathat, Wat Sa Si so photogenic on its small island, and the unmissable Wat Si Chum which adorns the majority of Sukhothai’s postcards with its 15 m "speaking Buddha". You will have time to stroll at your own pace enjoying the ruins set within lawns, ponds and shady trees before returning to your hotel and commencing the journey onward to Chiang Mai reaching your hotel by the early evening after an approximately 4hour drive across rural Thailand to the northern capital.
HOTEL: Rachamankha (Superior Room) or Little Shelter (Little Happy Room)
Day 7 : Chiang Mai (B/L/-)
Your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel at 0830 and take you to the Ancient Lanna House on the Ping River where your samlor drivers will be waiting for you. You will cross the nearby Iron Bridge and head by samlor to the Sanpakoy Market. Your guide will take you through this local market where you will have the chance to taste some of the delicacies for sale here. Re-joining your samlors you will head through the backstreets of Chiang Mai to Wat Ket Karam to visit their museum of old Chiang Mai. From here you will cross the river via the Chansom Memorial Bridge and hear the story of the different bridges that used to span the Ping River. Strolling through the most famous markets of Chiang Mai, the adjoining Warorot and Ton Lamyai markets, your guide will show you the typical Northern Thai delicacies for sale here. You will also visit a Chinese pagoda within the market where your samlor drivers will be waiting for you. Next stop will be Wat Mahawan, a beautiful temple in Burmese and Lanna style. In time for lunch at a riverside Thai restaurant.

After lunch you will enter the old city within the moat. Here you will visit the spectacular temples of Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phra Singh where you will have the chance to meet a Buddhist monk if you wish before returning to your hotel to relax for the rest of the afternoon. We will be happy to make recommendations for dinner – dinner is not included in this day’s program.
HOTEL: Rachamankha (Superior Room) or Little Shelter (Little Happy Room)
Day 8 : Chiang Mai – Chiang Rai - Chiang Saen (B/L/-)
An early departure, your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel at 0700. It will be a long day. First stop is Doi Suthep, the mountain which forms the backdrop of Chiang Mai where you will visit Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai’s most revered temple. At the foot of the mountain you will stop at the shrine to Kruba Srivichai. Kruba Srivichai is known as the “engineer monk” it was under his guidance that his followers constructed the road up to Wat Prathat Doi Suthep in 1935. On arrival at the temple there is a 300step Naga staircase to the temple entrance (a funicular railway is available if walking is difficult). Your guide will take you around the temple and on a clear day the views from the temple over Chiang Mai are spectacular. From the temple you will head on to Chiang Rai stopping at Mae Kachan Hot Springs to take lunch at a local restaurant.

The last stop before arriving at your hotel will be Wat Rong Khun, the famous “White Temple” an artist’s interpretation of a Thai Buddhist temple. It was designed and built by a famous Thai artist, Khun Chalermchai Kositpipat in 1997. Arriving at Chiang Saen - small river town that straddles the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos in the heart of The Golden Triangle, by late afternoon. Check-in at your boutique hotel and free evening.
HOTEL: Athita, The Hidden Court (Superior Pagoda View)
Day 9 : Chiang Saen (B/L/-)
After breakfast, your guide will pick you up for an exploration of the Golden Triangle area. Drive to the Hall of Opium Museum (closed on Sunday). This is one of the best museum in the North of Thailand. After this we drive the short distance to the spot where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet. Next we will visit Phra That Doi Phu Khao, a ancient temple that offers a majestic view over the Golden Triangle. Lunch will be at a restaurant on the Mekong River.
After lunch which we will board a local boat for a trip on the Mekong River to Chiang Saen, where we will disembark. Chiang Saen is an ancient walled city. We will visit Wat Pasak and Wat Chedi Luang, two of the most beautiful temple ruins. Our last stop will be Wat Phra That Pha Ngao, that offers a fantastic view of the Mekong River and Laos. Return to Chiang Saen.
HOTEL: Athita, The Hidden Court (Superior Pagoda View)
Day 10 : Chiang Sean – Chiang Khong Border – Luang Prabang (B/-/-)
After an early breakfast, depart by private car from hotel around 6.30am and drop off at the border check-point to cross to Laos in Chiang Khong by 8am. You will cross the border over the bridge and on the Lao side, after completing the paperwork for your entry into Laos, in Huay Xai, our guide will wait for you and you set off for the province of Luang Namtha following a route through the National Protected Area of Nam Ha. (If we have enough time), we stop to visit the village of Ban Nam Chang, a typical Lamten village characterized by the long communal houses in which several families live.
Lunch (not included) in a local restaurant.
Transfer to the railway station for catch the train at 14h11 to Luang Prabang, arriving at 16h10.
Transfer to your hotel to relax for the rest of the day.
Dinner (not included), we can recommend a few Secret Tables around the town.
HOTEL: Satri House or Apsara Rive Droite
Day 11 : Luang Prabang - Pakou (B/L/-)
At daybreak (before breakfast), you witness the daily alms ceremony as lines of monks pass through the old part of the city receiving donations of rice from the local people. It's a truly unforgettable sight. Back to Satri House for breakfast, then you start your exploration of the city begins with the National Museum which is housed in the former royal palace of Luang Prabang. The ancient royal capital, Luang Prabang has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995 and it leaves a lasting impression with all who visit. In this melting post of people & cultures, there is a surprise around every corner - pastel-colored houses, sumptuous temples or small shops on the banks of the two rivers that flow around the city. You will be charmed by the colonial and religious history of the city which gives it a unique ambiance. Next, you visit Wat Aham & Wat Visoun, the oldest temples in the city. That Mak Mo (shaped like a watermelon) was built in 1504 and restored by Henri Mouhot (famous for his restoration work in Angkor). The old part of the city sits on a peninsula between the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers and it contains many old temples. Wat Xieng Thong is certainly one of the most beautiful and sits at the northern end of the peninsula. As you pass from temple to temple, you have the chance to see the local people going about their daily lives. Then, you set off by boat for the famous caves at Pakhou. Your lunch will be served during the cruise. After around 1h30mn, you reach the confluence of the Nam Ou & Mekong Rivers. This is the site of these famous caves Tham Ting & Tham Phoum. Carved into the hillside, the caves are filled with hundreds of statues of Buddha, in all shapes & sizes, that have been put in this sacred place for many centuries.
You return to Luang Prabang and the rest of the day is yours. No arrangement for dinner
HOTEL: Satri House or Apsara Rive Droite
Day 12 : Luang Prabang (B/-/-)
Free day at your leisure.
On your own, you can discover the town by bicycle, walking around, go to the top of Mount Phousi by sunset... or simply enjoy the spa and the pool.
Day 13 : Luang Prabang – Departure (B)
Departure day - transfer to Luang Prabang Airport (15minutes by car) from Satri House.
Extension :
To end this trip smoothly, we suggest you to relax on a quiet beach at one of our seaside hotels on Koh Chang, Phuket, Krabi or around Samui (Spa Koh Chang, Le Passe-Temps, Koh Jum Beach Villas, Paresa Resort, Aava Resort).
Ask Secret Retreats concierge for advice.

Your Accommodation on this Asia Travel Itinerary


Thai and Lao Country Routes

13 Days / 12 Nights
from 2,825 USD /person

based on a family of 4 traveling together

 



The total price includes:

  • Accommodation based on four people sharing as indicated a large room or two rooms.
  • All meals specified in the programme (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner).
  • All transfers as specified, in private car or air-conditioned van.
  • All excursions as specified in the programme.
  • All entry fees.
  • A guide service for all excursions.

The total price does not include:

  • International flights.
  • Meals not specified in the programme.
  • All services not specified in the programme.
  • Fees for Lao visas ($30 - $40) USD per person (depending on nationality) plus one passport photo.
  • All insurances including cancellation insurance/ travel insurance/ repatriation or lost luggage insurances.
  • All tips.


This Secret Journey was designed in cooperation with Lamphoune and Green Trails (License 24/00060).

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