Trip Overview

Join AdventureWomen for ten delightful days of cultural discovery in Southeast Asia’s Thailand and Laos as you boat among local vendors at a floating market, explore elaborate temples honoring Buddha, ride a tuk tuk, and lounge on the beach on a Thai island.

Centuries ago, the people of Thailand and Laos harnessed the forces of nature to create a verdant, harmonious, and deeply spiritual paradise. Travel with AdventureWomen well off the beaten path in Southeast Asia to live as the locals do, discovering the region’s most spectacular sites, iconic temples, and wonderfully welcoming people of these two countries.

Meet your AdventureWomen guide and the women with whom you’ll be journeying in the Bangkok airport where you will board a flight for Laos, where you will explore by bike with your expert Laotian guide, exploring historic Luang Prabang, Vat Mai, and Vat Xieng Thong. Explore the Pak Ou Caves by boat where thousands of gilded Buddha statues fill two caves. Take part in a Laotian Baci spiritual ceremony, get to experience Laotian theater, and participate in Tak Bat, a traditional Laotian ritual where alms are provided to Buddhist monks and novices.

Next up, visit more temples, shop in galleries of traditional Thai artisans, and visit the Elephant Nature Park, a globally recognized elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai. You will get to help prepare the elephants’ food and then feed them! Speaking of food, you’ll also take part an exciting Thai cooking with a cooking class remembering your chef’s words, “Mai pet, mai aloi!” – not spicy, not delicious!

Travel to Bangkok, a city in Thailand where rivers have traditionally served as highways and shopping “centers.” Over the next few days, you’ll journey out to discover Bangkok’s wonders in two exciting and thoroughly less traditional ways, by kayak and authentic longtail traditional Thai river boat! Cruise by water to reach the illuminated, highly ornate Wat Arun, or “Temple of Dawn”, its radiant towers sparkling with embedded colored glass, and travel by river the traditional way to learn about the ethnic communities clustered along the riverbanks. Glide in a Thai longtail boat to pull alongside vendors of the colorful Lad Mayom Floating Market. Enjoy enchanting traditional marionette and Thai shadow-puppet performances then learn about the lifestyles of local Thai women who you meet on a visit to the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center (TAEC), as you are welcomed by one of the organization’s two female founders. Trying local Thai cuisine can be a big adventure in itself too, so for your first Thai meal, dive right into the delicacies of Bangkok’s night markets, an unforgettable street-food scene where your delicious meal is cooked right in front of you. Don’t worry! Your helpful Thai guide will explain to you what you’re buying at the market as you shop for your dinner as well as what part of Thailand it’s from!

To cap off your adventure, travel to Phuket’s port where boats await to row you and your companions into the Hong Archipelago for three nights of beach fun on Koh Yao Yai Island. The fine sand, jade green seas, nearby islands, and mangroves make this the most perfect adventure finale: world-class snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, and simply soaking up the sun on emerald-rimmed white sand beaches.

At your farewell celebration, join your guides for a Krathong Ceremony where you float a leaf basket holding a candle while offering prayers, and reflect on how sharing this cultural experience in Thailand and Laos with the other Adventure Women on your trip made this adventure truly spectacular.

Main Attractions

  • Explore Thailand and Laos by kayak, long-tail boat, and tuk tuk
  • Meet local Laotian artisans and entrepreneurs at the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center
  • Spend the day caring for elephants at the Elephant Nature Park
  • Bike through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang Laos and participate in spiritual ceremonies
  • Snorkel and kayak among remote islands in the Andaman Sea near Phuket, Thailand

What You'll See and Do

  • Anthropology
  • Architecture
  • Bicycling
  • Canoe and Boat Travel
  • Cooking Class
  • Cultural Exploration
  • Cultural Performances
  • Historical Sites
  • Local Delicacies
  • National Parks
  • Natural History
  • Sightseeing
  • Snorkeling
  • Spa Element
  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Women-To-Women Exchanges

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive into Luan Prabang
Meet your guide and AdventureWomen Ambassador in the Suvarnabhumi Airport Arrivals hall in Bangkok before taking a flight to Luang Prabang.

Eat an a la carte lunch at the Bourang Restaurant in Luang Prabang.

Set out by local bike to see the highlights of Luang Prabang. You’ll spend about three hours exploring, but you will only bike about five miles on flat terrain.

You’ll see the Royal Palace home to the “Prabang” sacred golden statue from which the town takes its name. Stop at Vat Mai before continuing to the Heuan Chan Heritage House where you will gain a better understanding of Laotian architecture and culture, and how families lived in long houses up until about 1960. Visit Vat Xieng Thong, the most emblematic temple in Laos, glittering in gold paint and mosaic glass.

Enjoy a cocktail overlooking the Mekong River to celebrate the start of your trip before heading back to the hotel for your welcome dinner. Get to know your fellow travelers this evening and learn about why each woman on your trip is excited to explore Thailand and Laos!
Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Villa Maydou

Day 2

Luang Prabang, Laos
Drive to the pier where you’ll board your private boat. Cruise about an hour and a half upstream to the Pak Ou Caves. You can buy snacks and drinks on board. Sip a coffee and watch the scenery as you float by.

Hike up a half a mile to the higher cave or a quarter of a mile to the lower cave – both caves are full of candles, incense, and golden Buddhas. Soak in this fascinating place along the river.

Have lunch on the boat as you travel from Pak Ou Caves to the Luang Prabang pier.

A Lao storyteller will tell traditional stories accompanied by the khene (a handmade bamboo mouth organ) in an intimate 25-seat theater.

Enjoy dinner tonight while overlooking the Nam Ou River. Walk or drive the 15 minutes back to the hotel after your meal.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Villa Maydou

Day 3

Luang Prabang, Laos
Depart the hotel at 5:20 this morning on foot. Witness the hundreds of orange-clad barefoot monks gathering alms. This is a thousand year old daily ceremony in Luang Prabang. Continue by tuk tuk to the local market to see how locals purchase their fresh food. Have breakfast back at the hotel.

Dive in to a hands-on culinary experience where you’ll make your own lunch of traditional Laotian fare.

Visit and learn about this establishment which is lead by women and specializes in training deaf and mute members of the community in the arts of dress making, weaving, carpentry, catering, mechanics, and hospitality.

The Baci ceremony recalls the spirits of the body back; once this is done, symbolically, you tie cotton bracelets on each other’s wrists. You’ll participate in this ceremony at a local home with a family and a master of ceremony.

Enjoy dinner on your own this evening – there are plenty of choices to pick from! Also, be sure to check out the local night market.
Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: Villa Maydou

Day 4

Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai
Meet one of the two women who founded the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center. Learn to identify what crafts come from which ethnic groups, how to tell between factory-produced and hand-made pieces, and learn about the challenges facing women in Laos today.

Make the short trip to the Luang Prabang Airport, where you’ll board your 90-minute flight to Chiang Mai. Enjoy lunch en route.

Take an hour or so to relax at your hotel before strolling from gallery to gallery on the Ping River. You’ll see Thai art, silk weaving, basket weaving, and the community arts center. Enjoy dinner at the end of your walk.

Enjoy dinner while you take in the views along the Ping River before heading back to your hotel for the evening.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Na Nirand

Day 5

Chiang Mai
Spend a full day at the Elephant Nature Park, about an hour’s drive from Chiang Mai. You’ll get to prepare food, feed, observe, and learn about Asian Elephants. Enjoy a simple lunch, and then spend the afternoon with these gentle giants.

Lunch and the afternoon are on your own. You might want to get a massage at the hotel or head to the Hmong market where many ethnic groups buy the parts to make their clothes.

You’ll have a traditional dinner where you will sit on the floor on pillows. You’ll be served many dishes family-style on a round rattan table that is low to the ground. These typical Lanna, or northern Thai dishes could include roasted green chili dip, fresh vegetables, and thicker nutty curries.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Na Nirand

Day 6

Chiang Mai to Bangkok
Head out on an easy hike through part of Doi Suthep National Park (the “mountain of the open heart”) to the jungle wat of Phu Lat. The hike will be about an hour and a half with minimal elevation gain. Walk along the stream among the gardens where statues, flowers, and jungle all mix together. You should wear closed-toed shoes.

Visit the artist colony of Chiang Mai. You will meet the next generation of local artists making their debut here in a funky collection of shops. The shops are a mix of indoor and outdoor space where you can see metal workers, painters, potters, weavers, and gelato makers!

Grab lunch on our way to the Chiang Mai airport before your flight to Bangkok.

Board your 1 hour and 15 minute flight and then drive for about 45 minutes into the city of Bangkok where you’ll check into your hotel before dinner.

Get ready for dinner – at a street food bazaar! Head into one of the local night markets for endless options from the many street food stalls. Your guide will help you understand what you are eating and which part of the country it comes from.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: The Raweekanlaya

Day 7

Bangkok
Bangkok used to be referred to as the “Venice of the East” due to the number of buildings that were built on stilts above the river. Today you’ll explore the city on the water during a one-hour kayak ride.

Hop in a longtail boat for a short ride to lunch. Enjoy a local noodle soup or a mixed noodle dish.

After lunch, drive to the heart of Bangkok. From there, travel by local transport to explore Wat Irun.

Take the sky train and a local ferry across the Chao Phraya River to Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn). This stupa-shaped temple spire is decorated with colored glass and Chinese porcelain. Enjoy sunset at the temple. Take a ferry and taxi back to the hotel
Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: The Raweekanlaya

Day 8

Bangkok to Phuket
Head to the airport for your 90-minute flight to Phuket this morning.

After landing in Phuket, drive to the pier to catch a longtail boat which will take you to Phakbia Archipelago for some snorkeling. Change into your bathing suit and grab a quick lunch en route.

Hop on a longtail boat, and stop to have lunch and change into bathing suits. Snorkel through the off- the-beaten-path Lao Lading and Phakbia islands.

After an afternoon of snorkeling, take another longtail boat ride to Koh Yao Yai island, where you’ll check into your hotel which will be your home for the next two nights. Get settled and relax a bit before dinner.

Enjoy a delicious dinner as a group this evening.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Koh Yao Yai Village

Day 9

Phuket
Take a 20-minute drive to the village of Baan Yai Mee where you will visit a local home in a community that is known for its woven palm leaf baskets. After your visit, kayak along the mangrove forests that are home to monkeys and are vital for the ecology of the coastal marine life.

Enjoy lunch at a village restaurant before driving back to the hotel where you will have the afternoon to relax or enjoy activities at the property before tonight’s dinner.

Enjoy a delicious dinner as a group this evening.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Koh Yao Yai Village

Day 10

Depart Phuket
Have lunch on your own before hopping on the ferry to Phuket.

Say goodbye to your new AdventureWomen friends as you transfer to the airport for your flights home. There will be one group transfer to the airport and then to Phuket town from the ferry dock. You should not book a flight that leaves before 4:00pm.

If you have flights that depart very late, and you would like to book a day room in Phuket town, let us know and we can help with those arrangements.
Breakfast

Please note: AdventureWomen will attempt to adhere to the itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, and cultural) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. AdventureWomen reserves the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participants.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Traveling to Thailand and Laos



Arrival and Departure Information

November Departure:

Arrive: Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand (BKK) on November 12th, 2022 before 9:00am.

Depart: Depart Phuket, Thailand (HKT) on November 21st, 2022 after 4:00pm.

DecemberDeparture:

Arrive: Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand (BKK) on December 10th, 2022 before 9:00am.

Depart: Depart Phuket, Thailand (HKT) on December 19th, 2022 after 4:00pm.

We are happy to help you make your flight and travel arrangements. If you’d like to do anything prior to or following the AdventureWomen trip, we’d be delighted to help you arrange any trip extensions you’re interested in.

Note: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible booking last-minute registrants, we must release hotel rooms two to three months prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

Passports and Visas

Citizens of the United States must have a passport valid for six months beyond your travel dates with at least two blank facing pages. If you do not have a passport, please apply now!

Thailand: Citizens of the United States may enter Thailand three times in one calendar year free of charge. This trip will enter Thailand twice. If you have been or are planning to go to Thailand more than once in the 12 months prior to this trip, please let us know as soon as possible.

Laos: A tourist visa is required to enter Laos. You will get your visa upon arrival, and AdventureWomen has included the cost of the visa in your trip. Please bring one passport photo with you for your visa. Upon arrival in Luang Prabang International Airport, your guide will meet you before the immigration counters. Your guide will take each traveler’s passport, one passport photo, signed Visa on Arrival form, and entry/exit cards provided during the flight. Your guide will escort you through immigration and assist in getting your visa. You will get your passport back later that day at the hotel.

Activity Level

We rate this trip as Active. Our Active adventures at AdventureWomen get you on your feet! You should be in good physical condition for these trips and comfortable walking on uneven surfaces, such as cobblestone streets, biking well-maintained paths and natural trails, or kayaking in calm waters. Please note that this is a general description of what you might encounter; for specific details about your trip, please consult the itinerary.

We recommend training before your trip (with your doctor’s permission!) to make the most of your adventure. We have a partnership with FitForTrips, a company that will design an individualized fitness plan for you with this itinerary in mind. Best of all, AdventureWomen guests get a 25% discount with the code FITWOMEN. Learn more here.

You should come with a flexible, adventurous, and enthusiastic spirit, and a wonderful sense of humor that adventure travel requires.

Health Considerations

Make an appointment with a travel clinic. There are no immunization requirements for travel to Thailand or Laos, however your local travel clinic may have recommendations for you based on your age, health, and past vaccination history.

For more health information, go to www.cdc.gov/travel and navigate to the page about Thailand and Laos.

How to Register

Call the AdventureWomen office at (800) 804-8686 to determine space availability and register for this trip. We can complete your registration, including taking your credit card deposit over the phone.

If you prefer, you can register online by clicking “Sign Up for this Trip” on the trip page.

Please be sure to read the AdventureWomen policies before registering!

Preparation and Packing

Once you register for your adventure, we will send you a comprehensive preparation guide including weather information, gratuity suggestions, and a packing list.

As a reference, AdventureWomen typically suggests $200-250 for gratuities on most trips. Detailed information will be provided to you prior to departure.

Forms and Final Payment

Once you book, you will need to fill out and return to AdventureWomen:

  • Information Form
  • Booking Conditions Form
  • Copy of Flight Information
  • Copy of Issuing Page of Passport (photo page)
  • Supplemental Release for COVID

Final payment is due to AdventureWomen in a cash form (check, money order, or wire transfer). A maximum of $1,500 per person can be put on a credit card, which includes your deposit.

November Departure Final Payment Date: August 12, 2022

December Departure Final Payment Date: September 11, 2022

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What's Included

Included

  • All accommodations indicated in the itinerary based on double occupancy
  • All meals as listed in the itinerary
  • All ground transportation
  • Flights within Thailand and Laos as indicated in the itinerary (priced separately from the main trip)
  • One group transfer for arrival and departure flights
  • Fully-guided activities as indicated in the itinerary
  • Services of an English-speaking guide in Thailand
  • Services of an English-speaking guide in Laos
  • Water and snacks while touring
  • Gratuities for restaurant staff, boat crews, and drivers
  • One AdventureWomen Ambassador

Not Included

  • International airfare to and from Thailand
  • Optional activities as indicated in the itinerary
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks
  • Fees for passports, visas, or immunizations
  • Cost of hospitalization or evacuation
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities for guides

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Accommodations

Villa Maydou

Villa Maydou is at the heart of the historic center of Luang Prabang, the former royal capital of Laos, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It sits nearby of the Pagoda “Wat Meuna” and near the Nam Khan river old bridge. The hotel is composed of five beautifully appointed and comfortable Lao traditional houses within a large tropical garden which includes a salt pool. Two of the houses are registered in the UNESCO World Heritage Program after having been restored under the authority of “La Maison du Patrimoine”, the UNESCO program responsible for the preservation of the traditional architecture of Luang Prabang.

Na Nirand

Na Nirand Boutique Resort is a charming property that is tucked away in the heart of Chiang Mai. All rooms are designed in the colonial style that dates back to the 19th century and feature soap, shampoo, conditioner, and WiFi.

Raweekanlaya

The Raweekanlaya is a charming, 38-room boutique hotel located in a historic part of Bangkok. The room comes equipped with an en suite bathroom and shower, a hairdryer, a full set of amenities, a safe and a refrigerator.

Koh Yao Yai Village

Embark on a journey to Koh Yao Yai, a secluded tropical island in the Andaman Sea and discover stunning nature, rich culture, and a traditional way of life. On the west coast of the island is Koh Yao Yai Village, a hideaway resort in Thailand like no other. The collection of cozy southern-style Thai villas are nestled amongst the rainforests of Koh Yao Yai, all offering generous spaces inside and out to relax and unwind.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686