|Jan 17-18 Bangkok
Arrival in Bangkok. There are no planned activities except for a group meeting in the evening, so feel free to relax and adjust to the frenetic pace and humid heat of Bangkok. Start day 2 with a walk to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Keow, the most famous temple complex in Thailand. Continue to Wat Po and Wat Arun before taking a boat trip through Bangkok's busy waterways. There is still time for some afternoon shopping before heading to the train station to board the overnight train to Chiang Mai.
Jan 19 Chiang Mai
Arrive in the early morning at Chiang Mai and transfer to the guest house. After lunch at a lakeside restaurant specializing in Northern Thai dishes, head out to visit Chiang Mai's most famous temple, Wat Doi Suthep, which allows for great views across the city. The accommodation is only a short distance from one of Chiang Mai's highlights - the night bazaar with its incredible array of fresh seafood.
Jan 20 Chiang Kong
After a five hour bus ride, arrive in Chiang Khong and a guesthouse that overlooks the Mekong River. Sit back and enjoy the slow pace of life.
Jan 21 Mekong River
Thai Immigration is only a few 100 meters away. After immigration, cross the Mekong by boat to Ban Houaysai and the Laotian Immigration. Begin your journey down the Mekong by slow boat, your first stop being Pakbeng.
Jan 22-24 Luang Prabang
Located at the confluence of the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers, Luang Prabang is without a doubt the most charming city in Laos. Discover Lao's Buddhist and architectural heritage on a walking tour of some of the most impressive of Luang Prabang's 32 temples including Vat Vixoun, Vat Sene, and Vat Xiengthong; watch the sunset from Phousi Hill; rise at dawn to watch the monks walk through the city collecting offerings of food from the locals. Finish off your day by browsing the many textile galleries and relax in the town's many small cafés. Dinner will introduce some of the special tastes of Lao.
Jan 25-26 Vientiane
Explore the highlights of Vientiane including Wat Sisaket (one of the city's oldest and most fascinating temples), That Luang (Lao's national symbol and one of its most sacred sites) and the Morning Market (an all-day affair selling virtually everything).
Jan 27 Hin Boun
Drive to the border town of Hin boun where we overnight in a small but friendly guesthouse. This is our last stop before heading into Vietnam the next day.
Jan 28-30 Hanoi
Leave quiet, sleepy Laos and arrive in bustling Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. During the late afternoon take a walk through Hanoi's Old Quarter - a maze of streets, each one traditionally devoted to a different product or industry. In the evening attend a performance at the famous Water Puppet Theatre. On day 13, visit Tran Quoc Pagoda and the Temple of Literature (Van Mieu). After lunch at Koto (a restaurant devoted to training street children) visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum. The Mausoleum houses the remains of Ho Chi Minh, the founding father of the unified Vietnam (the mausoleum and museum is closed in October-December). Vietnamese food is one of the world's most delightful of cuisines, enjoy some of the finest at Little Hanoi.
|Jan 15, 2009
Ho Chi Minh City
|Jan 16, 2009