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.

Thailand and Laos

Meet your AdventureWomen Thai guide and the women with whom you’ll be journeying in 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.

After Bangkok, travel to 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. This traditional Laotian ritual provides alms to Buddhist monks and novices.

Return to Thailand and reunite with your Thai guide to 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!

Your hotel on a beautiful stretch of beach is a perfect jumping-off point for a large variety of fun activities and excursions. The area boasts great surfing, snorkeling and scuba diving, as well as awesome opportunities for exploring ocean caves or just relaxing on the soft sand.

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!

At your farewell celebration, join your guides for a Krathong Ceremony, where you float a leaf basket holding a candle while offering prayers. 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

  • Kayak, float by long-tail boats, explore floating markets
  • Dine on Thailand's famously fresh, delicious, and spicy cuisine
  • Meet local Laotian artisans and entrepreneurs at the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center
  • Spend a full day at the Elephant Nature Park
  • Bike through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang, Laos and participate in spiritual ceremonies

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 in Bangkok, Thailand

Welcome to colorful, exotic, and endlessly fascinating Thailand! Your adventure gives you the chance to explore distinct Thai regions and experience the lifestyle and traditions unique to each. From the cultural delights of Bangkok to remote hillside villages, and from the natural wonders of Chiang Mai to the palm-fanned tropical beaches of Phuket, Thailand promises to engage everyone’s imagination.

Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand (BKK) before 12:00 PM. Pick-up and Transfer There will be one group transfer provided from the airport around 12:00pm. The exact transfer time will be determined closer to departure. AdventureWomen can arrange additional airport transfers for an additional fee. Taxis from the airport are metered and also quite simple to navigate if you prefer to make your own way to the hotel.

Have lunch on your own today either at or nearby your hotel before meeting your group at 2:00pm in the hotel lobby.

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.

Have a welcome drink at the hotel before heading out for your welcome 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. Get to know your fellow travelers this evening and learn about why each woman on your trip is excited to explore Thailand and Laos!

Dinner

Overnight: The Raweekanlaya

Day 2

Bangkok
After breakfast, drive to a pier on the outskirts of downtown Bangkok where you will learn about kayaking techniques. Kayak a little less than an hour through a small stilt home neighborhood of Bangkok before returning to the pier.

Hop in a longtail boat for a short ride to lunch. Enjoy a local noodle soup or a mixed noodle dish. After lunch, return to the hotel and relax before dinner.

Enjoy dinner as a group at a local restaurant.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: The Raweekanlaya

Day 3

Bangkok to Luang Prabang


Drive to the airport and fly to Luang Prabang this morning. You’ll say goodbye to your Thai guide at the airport, but you will see your guide again in Chiang Mai in a few days. Be dressed to explore Luang Prabang by bike when you arrive!

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 dinner with the group this evening.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Maydou

Day 4

Luang Prabang, Laos


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

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 handmade pieces, and learn about the challenges facing women in Laos today.

This 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.

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

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: Maydou

Day 5

Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai

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.

Fly from Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai this morning. You’ll be met at the airport by your guide who you last saw in Bangkok. Head to a late lunch to taste Cao Soi, one of the best-known dishes of Thailand. The rich, nutty curry is a local favorite.

Stroll through the village near your hotel. You’ll visit the Ganesh shrine before making your way to Kalm Village where you will see boutiques featuring batik and other traditional hand-crafted good as well as the community artist exhibition space. Then walk to the Chedi Luang temple. Relax at the hotel at the end of your walk before dinner.

Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant in the White Market tonight.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Chala Number 6

Day 6

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.

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: Chala Number 6

Day 7

Chiang Mai
Head out on an easy hike through part of Inthanon National Park. You will walk through bamboo forests to spy a small, but pretty, waterfall before making your way back along the stream. You should wear closed-toed shoes.

Take a songtaw truck up a steep dirt road to Watt Morwakee. This temple is home to both monks and nuns and is one of the older watts in Chiang Mai Provence. After your visit, drive about 90 minutes back to the hotel.

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.

Dinner is up to you tonight. Eat at the market, dine at the hotel, or ask your guide for a recommendation for a nearby local restaurant.

Breakfast 

Overnight: Chala Number 6

Day 8

Chiang Mai to Phuket

Get up early this morning for your flight to Phuket, stopping in Bangkok on the way. When you arrive, drive to the pier and take in the view of the turquoise ocean. Pack your bathing suit in your daypack so you have it handy!

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.

Return to the hotel for a bit before heading to a local restaurant for dinner with the group.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Thavorn Beach Village Resort

Day 9

Phuket

Take a 1-hour longtail boat ride to Hong Island, where you will enjoy some time snorkeling along the coast. Then set-out on kayak to explore Koh Bon before enjoying a picnic lunch on the beach. Start your journey back to the hotel in the longtail boat at the end of the day.

Have a farewell dinner with your new AdventureWomen friends complete with a Krathong ceremony with a floating leaf basket of a candle and prayers. Reminisce over all of the memories you have made and celebrate the end of an amazing journey through this truly spectacular country.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Thavorn Beach Village Resort

Day 10

Depart Phuket

Say goodbye to your new AdventureWomen friends as you transfer to the airport after breakfast. There will be one group transfer to the airport at 9:00 am. Do not book your flight home to depart until after 12:00 pm. 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.

Depart Phuket, Thailand (HKT) any time after 12:00PM.

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

January 29, 2024 Departure:

Arrive: Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand (BKK) on January 29, 2024 before 10:00AM.

Depart: Depart Phuket, Thailand (HKT) on February 7, 2024 after 4:00PM.

 

November 4, 2024 Departure:

Arrive: Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand (BKK) on November 4, 2024 before 10:00AM.

Depart: Depart Phuket, Thailand (HKT) on November 13, 2024 after 4:00PM.

 

Preparation and Packing  

Please use the following guides as a reference when preparing for your adventure. We also encourage you to adapt the guides to your travel style as well as the destination’s forecasted weather.  

Gratuities  

Gratuities are a personal decision and are at your own discretion based on your level of satisfaction with the service provided. Gratuities are dependent upon the number of guests on your departure, and they vary greatly from trip to trip. As a general reference, AdventureWomen suggests you plan for $165-$200 (or more) worth of gratuities for this adventure. Specific tipping recommendations for your trip will be provided to you closer to your departure date and may fluctuate due to inflation, exchange rates, and the number of travelers on your trip. 

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!

 

Activity Level

We rate this trip as Active. Our Active adventures get you on your feet. You should be in good physical condition and be prepared to hike for up to five hours, multiple days in a row, on uneven surfaces with some steep ascents and descents. 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 on the FitForTrips website.

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, as they may have recommendations for vaccines and medications based on the destination as well as your age, health, and past vaccination history.

For more health information, go to www.cdc.gov/travel and navigate to the pages 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!

Forms and Final Payment

The deposit for this trip is $800, and is nonrefundable and nontransferable. 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.

January 29, 2024  Departure Final Payment Due Date: October 31, 2023

November 4, 2024 Departure Final Payment Due Date: August 6, 2024

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

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

  • Accommodations as per itinerary based on double occupancy
  • All meals as listed in the itinerary
  • All ground transportation
  • One group transfer on arrival and departure
  • Guided sightseeing and activities as indicated in the itinerary
  • English-speaking guide(s) throughout the trip
  • Gratuities for drivers, hotel staff, boat staff, and waitstaff

Not Included

  • International airfare to and from Thailand
  • Optional activities
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (unless otherwise indicated in the itinerary)
  • Fees for passport, visas, immunizations, or travel insurance
  • 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

The Raweekanlaya

The Raweekanlaya is a charming, 38-room boutique hotel located in a historic part of Bangkok.

Amenities: soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer, en suite bathroom and shower, safe, refrigerator, air conditioning, WiFi

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.

Amenities: soap, shampoo, hair dryer, WiFi

Chala Number 6

Chala Number 6 is a charming boutique property that is centrally located in Chiang Mai and within steps of a historic temple within the walled city. The rooms feature a private balcony that overlooks the hotel's gardens.

Amenities: soap, shampoo, hairdryer, and WiFi .

Thavorn Beach Village Resort

Overlooking the Andaman Sea, the Thavorn Beach Village Resort offers private beach bungalows nestled amidst lush tropical greenery.

Amenities: soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer, air conditioning, WiFi

 

 

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

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686