12-day backpacking tour of Thailand and Laos
Use your holiday to explore the best of South East Asia on our 12-day tour of Thailand and Laos. The experienced guides will lead you on an adventure, covering the must-see highlights, as well as the lesser-known hot-spots. From white-water rafting to sleeping under the stars in a tree top house, this tour is guaranteed to be the trip of a lifetime!
Want to travel to Thailand and Laos and see the best these amazing countries have to offer? Look no further. This backpacking tour is affordable, exciting and it is the perfect way to spend your two-week holiday. Led by experienced guides, with local knowledge, this tour is full of sites, experiences and activities. The on-the-ground team have used their local knowledge to create this exciting adventure. To make your experience even more personal, check out the optional activities that you can add to your itinerary to make it truly memorable.
Read our more detailed tour description.
On arriving in Thailand, you will begin your tour in Bangkok and you will end it in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Day one – Bangkok, Thailand
- Begin your trip in lively Bangkok and meet your group and leader
- Soak up the views on a rooftop bar
- Board the sleeper train to Chiang Mai
- Optional activities: choose to arrive two days earlier and take the riverboat cruise, visit the magnificent Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew – home to the emerald Buddha – or experience the legendary nightlife
Day two – Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Wake up to rural views in Chiang Mai, the 700-year-old cultural capital of Thailand
- Visit the local elephant jungle sanctuary
- Relax by the hostel pool before taking in the bustling night markets and listening to live music
- Optional activities: join a cooking class to learn how to make delicious Thai food
Day three – Chiang Mai, Thailand
- The perfect day for those who love culture – there are dozens of temples to explore
- Spend the evening watching a Muay Thai Kickboxing show before heading to ‘Zoe in Yellow’ – an infamous Chiang Mai bar
- Optional activities: for adrenaline junkies – try the zip line, drive a quad bike or white water raft down the Mae Taeng River and Muay Thai Kickboxing
Day four – Chiang Dao, Thailand
- Cycle through peaceful countryside in the northern Thai villages
- Hike through the forest to a stunning waterfall
- Stay overnight in a tree top house in a local settlement for a night under the stars
Day five – Chiang Dao, Thailand
- Wake at sunrise for spectacular views over the countryside
- The group will be driven back to Chiang Mai before resuming the journey by bus to Chiang Kong, stopping at Wat Rong Khun – a mesmerising white temple
Day six – Mekong River, Laos
- Glide along the Mekong River on a slow boat and enter Laos
- Explore Pak Bek village and try ‘buffalo curry’ – a delicious local curry
Day seven – Luang Prabang, Laos
- Jump back on board the slow boat to beautiful Luang Prabang – a UNESCO heritage city
- Stroll around the French-inspired streets of Luang Prabang and head to colourful Hmong Market
Day eight – Luang Prabang, Laos
- Volunteer at Big Brother Mouse Centre by helping young people to improve their conversational English skills
- Optional activities: learn about rice farming at the Living Rice Farm or spend the afternoon at one of biggest waterfalls in the area
Day nine – Vang Vieng, Laos
- North of Luang Prabang is Vang Vieng – an adventurer’s paradise – famous for its limestone mountains, lagoons and caves. You will have the afternoon free for exploring
Day ten – Vang Vieng, Laos
- Explore the sacred Tham Phu Kham Cave and if you feel brave – swim in the dark! Remember to take an LED headlamp for this part of the tour
- In the afternoon, swim in the amazing Blue Lagoon and have a go at rock-climbing
- Want to relax? Tube down the river with a drink in hand – a popular backpacking activity
Day eleven – Hanoi, Vietnam
- Fly into Hanoi and take the bus from the airport to the accommodation
- Optional activities: Head out for an epic bar crawl through the city’s Old Quarter
Day twelve – Hanoi, Vietnam
- On your last day, take time to head to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and learn about Vietnam’s political history, visit Thang Long, built in the 11th Century and explore the Temple of Literature
- Say goodbye to your group and either fly home or continue your own independent travels
Read our more detailed tour description.
Accommodation and food
All hostel accommodation is included for the duration of the tour. The entire group will be staying in the same accommodation and you can expect to share a room with 4-8 people, depending on where you are staying. If you would like to have your own room, you can pay a supplement for this.
You will need to budget money for food. Your guide will take you to good, local restaurants each day where you will be able to eat cheaply. You are also welcome to choose your own restaurants.
- Meet other travellers, looking to explore South East Asia
- Explore this amazing part of the world without breaking the bank
- Take part in optional activities – such as zip lining and quad biking!
- Eat your fill of delicious South East Asian cuisine
- Explore the major sites and cities of this region
Whyshould I do this?
South East Asia attracts thousands of visitors each year and it is very clear why. Thailand offers a party-atmosphere, iconic sites and mouth-watering food. Step into Laos and you will be greeted by jaw-dropping views and plenty of culture. Backpacking from Thailand to Laos is easy and joining a group tour is a perfect way to share the experience with other travellers, while also gaining exciting insights from the knowledgeable guides.
This tour is an affordable way to see South East Asia. The team of experts, working in country, have designed this budget tour to ensure you experience all that this part of the world has to offer without spending a fortune. You will stay in hostels, chosen for their cleanliness, safety and character. The group will travel on public transport, giving you a much more authentic experience.
Take in the key sites that these countries offer, but don’t forget to take full advantage of the optional activities that make this group tour so unique. Ending in Vietnam also gives you a chance to independently continue on your own travels.
Join the tour today and start your South East Asian adventure!
If you are flying, the nearest airport is Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) – the international airport in Bangkok.
You will meet up with your group and leader at 17:30 on the arrival day. Full details regarding where to meet will be provided in good time prior to your departure.
What is provided
- Access to your personal ‘My Oyster’ account – our online portal where you can find out much more about the tour, learn from our travel tips and manage your booking
- Help and advice from our UK office before departure and whilst in Thailand and Laos
- A combination of Western and local tour guides
- All accommodation – hostels
- Internal travel – train, boat and internal flight
- All included activities
- All taxes and charges
- Full financial protection through our ATOL (if we book flights) or IPP (if you book your own)
What do I need
- International flights
- Transport to the meeting point
- All optional activities – highly recommended!
- Cost of food and drink
- Any additional travel, food or accommodation organised before or after the tour