Your day-by-day itinerary
Chiang Rai - Luang Namtha
It’s the first day of your journey from Thailand to Laos and this morning you’ll be picked up at your hotel in Chiang Rai and transferred to the border by minivan. This is where your driver will drop you off and you’ll make your own way across the border into Laos. The Mekong river forms the border between Thailand and Laos here, so you’ll step onto the ferry which will take you to Laos in just a couple of minutes. You’ll pay for the ferry ticket locally (around £1).
At the border post on the other side of the river you’ll arrange your 30-day Laos visa (around $30) and with your freshly stamped passport, you’ll be greeted by our local representative. Remember to bring two passport sized photos with you for your visa. Together with other adventure travellers, you’ll travel to Luang Namtha. On arrival, you’ll make your own way to your cosy guest house in town.
Luang Namtha - Homestay (Trekking time approx. 6 hours)
Today you’ll trek to remote villages deep in the Luang Namtha Protected Area with a small group of international travellers and an English-speaking guide. The trek starts in the village of Ban Nam Leu, a Lanten village. You’ll trek steeply uphill on overgrown jungle paths, passing through forest in various stages of regeneration. You’ll might meet some local villagers along the trail coming from or going to the market.
After a quick, simple lunch, you’ll take a steep descent into a small Laotian village; your home for the night. You can enjoy a home-cooked and well-earned dinner, as you relax after your energetic day. The accommodation is very simple, a wooden hut with a mat on the floor along with a mosquito net.
Village Homestay - Luang Namtha (Trekking time approx. 5 hours)
On day three of your Laos trip, you’ll have some breakfast and then it’s time to continue your trek through the Nam Ha P.A. You’ll take a scenic route through the forest along the banks of the Nam Ha. Monkeys have been reported in this area, so if you walk quietly and luck is on your side, you may hear or even see them swinging amongst the branches overhead. Halfway through this part of your Laos trip, you’ll stop off for a traditional Laotian lunch laid out on banana leaves.
After this satisfying meal, you’ll cross the Nam Ha River on a bamboo raft trek through ancient, overgrown forests and alongside gurgling streams. Finally, you’ll head through local rice paddies to the banks of the river, which you’ll cross by boat. Depending on the season you’ll return to Luang Namtha either by boat or by săwngthăew (converted pick-up truck). You’ll spend the night in the same simple guest house as before, only now it will seem all the more comfortable…
Luang Namtha - Luang Prabang (Travel time approx. 10 hours)
Today it’s an early start (around 7am) for your trip onwards to Luang Prabang. After breakfast you’ll be picked up for the transfer by minibus to the friendly town of Luang Prabang. This trip will take most of the day and the road is pretty bumpy, but the beautiful scenery and views across the hilly countryside more than make up for it. This adventure from Thailand to Laos ends on arrival in Luang Prabang. If you’d like to continue your Laos journey with us, take a look at our Laos trips for some inspiration on what you can do next.
Combine this trip with...
Where to next? This trip goes together perfectly with these:
Combine this trip with Laos
How about something completely different? After this trip you could journey to another destination: