This is a true connoisseurs trip to Thailand, combining exquisite small hotels with uniquely Thai experiences. Get off the well trodden path and stay in a small village to experience the Thai way of life, stay in a traditional style teak room and overnight in a resort with an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Rai. Add on a few nights to experience the delights of Luang Prabang in Laos then why not head to southern Thailand for some blue seas and skies.
Our expert tour specialists can tailor this trip to exactly meet your needs. We make the suggestions but the decision is yours
Depart on an overnight flight to Chiang Mai via Bangkok
Arrive in Chiang Mai where you’ll be met by your private local guide for the short transfer to your hotel. The rest of today is yours to relax and get into the unhurried way of life in this charming city, a travellers crossroads of South East Asia.
Meet your guide this morning for a walking tour to enjoy a slice of every day life to Kaad Luang market. This market has been a gathering point for around 200 years for local people and features fresh produce and tasty specialities. Continue to Chiang Mai’s bustling old city to discover its beautiful temples and rich history, with lunch at a local restaurant included. The afternoon is free to relax or explore further.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
With your guide and driver, head into the hills today into Doi Inthanon national park – the roof of Thailand. This actually forms part of the Himalaya chain, with misty mountain peaks, waterfalls and streams, butterflies and songbirds. Spend the day exploring the cooler high altitudes and stop at some authentic hill tribe villages, where you’ll find wooden building on stilts and rice, flower and coffee farms. Return to Chiang Mai for the evening.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Depart north by road this morning with your guide and driver, into the heart of rural Thailand away from the crowds. You can stop at Pong Dued hot springs and stop for a fresh Thai lunch on the way, as well as the Kho Ku So bamboo bridge. Arrive in Pai and settle in to this cool mountain town and have time to wander on your own.
Rise early for a true Asian experience. Morning alms offerings to monks is an integral part of life in Thai communities, we prepare healthy food parcels in natural leaf packaging and
guide you in the process of respectfully offering them to local monks in an authentic location. Transfer back to hotel for breakfast, and the rest of the day is yours to relax in the natural beauty and laid back town.
It’s a three hour drive back to Chiang Mai, and a day to relax by the river in atmospheric surroundings.
You’ll be met by your guide at a convenient time, no big rush, for the four to four and a half hour drive to Chiang Rai. Arrive at the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, perched above the confluence of the Ruak and Mekong Rivers by the hills where the three countries of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet. This is a great opportunity to see a fabled part of Asia and to encounter elephants at the resorts’ sanctuary.
During your stay here, there’s a choice of included activities each day, including the arrival day. Choose from an elephant camp experience, walking with giants featuring the rescue elephants of the sanctuary or the Golden Triangle three countries in one day trip. There’s also Spice Spoons cooking class and or a spa discovery package. Something for everyone in this unique location.
New for 2020, extend your stay with a night in the Jungle Bubble room where you could see elephants relaxing outside your room.
Today is a uniquely Thai experience, well away from the modern world. Head to Lanja lodge, in the deepest Hmong and Lahu hilltribe to stay in an authentic village. Encounter the timeless way of life in these villages, head to the river to try see the local giant catfish and in the evening be hosted with a sumptuous dinner of local specialities. Here the hospitality is genuine and moving.
Meals: Breakfast, dinner
This morning visit the hilltribe village of Baan Kiew Kam, where you can get involved in making batik crafts and even visit the shaman. Hop on the village pickup and head to the river for a boat trip on the fabled Mekong. In the afternoon a walking tour will take you to quiet temples, sleepy villages and past fishermen in search of the day’s catch. It’s a world away from the resorts and a deep connection with an authentic way of life. The afternoon ends at a hilltop temple and a view of the hills of Laos beyond.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
After breakfast it’s a half hour drive to the border with Laos, you’ll be met by you Laotian guide and board the Luangsay river cruise boat for a journey down the Mekong further into Laos. Here’s you can see all kinds of craft from fishing boats to Chinese cargo barges. Stop at a local village and witness unhurried life in Laos and take lunch on board as you sail past green hills. Arrive at the Luang Say lodge in Pakbeng and enjoy a night on the Mekong river bank with dinner on the open air terrace.
Lodge: Luang Say Lodge
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Mornings are special times for breakfast at Luang Say Lodge on the expansive teak terrace with stunning sights of the peaceful mountains, often shrouded in mist. The cruise departs for another day along the legendary river with two stops planned along the way to Luang Prabang – at Baw you can watch the traditional process of making Lao whiskey and near Pak Ou village, the cruise stops to visit the Tam Thing cave, famous for housing over 2,500 Buddha statues of all sizes. Lunch is taken on board before arrival into beautiful Luang Prabang where you’ll be taken to your hotel.
Meals; Breakfast, lunch
Luang Prabang is called a city, but it’s so sleepy and unhurried, it hardly feels like one. With stilt houses, little cafes and restaurants, glittering gold temples dotted around the hills mixed with French influences, it’s a beguiling place to stay. Take a guided excursion to see the Royal Palace and National Museum and head a little out of town into the hills to see the beautiful Kuang Sy Waterfalls.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Today is yours at leisure, to take in the experiences of a deep discovery of Thailand and Laos. Unwind by the Mekong with some cold beer and spicy food and watch the river roll by, or head to the night market for some delightful Lao souvenirs.
Transfer to Luang Prabang airport for your departure flight, or connect to a beach destination with good links to southern Thailand.
Resting by the banks of the Ping river and within walking distance of Chiang Mai’s markets and historic centre, this truly boutique hotels features just 6 residences. Decorated in local crafts, set in peaceful gardens and with exquisite architectural touches, it provides an oasis and a distinctively Thai place to stay.
‘Enchanting; a Lush, Romantic, Riverside Experience’
This exceptional property tells a story of adventure; through its heady mix of exotic international decor as favoured by travellers, musicians and trend-setters; the result – an environment infinitely more chic than shabby! Set in three acres of lush riverside land you have privacy and panoramic views of the surrounding jungle mountains. The use of natural woods, distressed select furniture and individual pieces positioned all around the property create a romance all their own. Freshly grown local produce paired with boutique wines and captivating views make dining a pure delight at Reverie Siam whilst the bar will entice you with local brews, XO Cognacs and home-roasted coffee. Exploring the property and relaxing in the library or pool may be your first stop but convenient shuttle services help you explore the local area, charming Pai Town, river rafting, forest treks and elephant rides are just a few of the experiences on offer.
‘Where Luxury and Jungle Meet’
Anantara Golden Triangle is perched on a ridge overlooking the hills of Myanmar and Laos - here you can experience the culture of three countries. The Elephant Camp and Experience offered includes a jungle walk with the animals and their mahouts, watch as the gentle giants splash in the river or play in the mud. Championing free roaming the resident biologist will explain how intelligent these creatures are. There are just 61 rooms and suites all with balcony and day bed. Facilities include an infinity pool, spa and three restaurant/bars.
This simple yet welcoming lodge is for those looking for a truly authentic experience well off the beaten track. Stay among the Hmong community in simple rooms with clean en suite facilities. Your stay contributed directly to the community, helping keeping age old traditions alive. From the lodge there are wonderful views over the Mekong Valley and Laos beyond.
‘Historic Setting; Comfortable Stay’
Satri House is inspired by traditional Laos culture. It offers a collection of 28 rooms and 3 suites, with each leading out to balconies where you can sit and admire the views. Facilities include a restaurant and bar, library, outdoor swimming pools and spa.
International flights into Chiang Mai and out of Luang Prabang in economy class
All accommodation as per itinerary
Meals as described
All transfers on a private basis
Excursions as described with a private car and driver
Shared excursions at Lanja Lodge
Laos visa on entry
Share your ideas, tell us what you’re expecting and ask us as many questions as you like; together we can identify what will make your trip exceptional – only then will we begin to tailor-make your holiday.
We will use our destination expertise to plan an itinerary that will work for you – your personal specialist is happy to respond by phone, email or text. Your trip will be refined and reshaped until you love the way it looks, and it fits you perfectly!
We partner with only the finest hotels & resorts that we feel exemplify the Destinology experience. It’s these close relationships that help us to offer our clients that little bit more. We live luxury and we think you should too.