Xtreme Vietnam Experience

Take an epic three week road trip throughout Vietnam from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. New friends on new adventures along the way, in truly one of the most breathtaking Southeast Asian countries. Fully guided full on bring it on! Insanely good value as well.

Discover Vietnam’s epic highlights on this exciting 3 week group adventure from North to South! Hang out in Hanoi, learn about the war torn history of Vietnam, get to know Vietnamese culture, go trekking enjoy a cool beach week checking out the world famous Halong Bay. Finish up with an all-encompassing road trip south to Ho Chi Minh city via Hoi Ann and Na Trang.

 

Xtreme Vietnam Experience

Vietnam experience SapaVietnam Experience Highlights Include:

  • Fancy going somewhere completely different? You will love Vietnam.
  • Explore the vibrant 1,000 year old of historic city of Hanoi during the first week.
  • Learn about Buddhism and Meditation, explore interesting Vietnamese places including Pagodas and temples in the second week.
  • Go trek the amazing Sapa mountain and learn about the culture here, visit markets.
  • Discover Ho Chi Minh City
  • No worries about going it alone, this trip has a buddy list so you can chat to other people on the trip before you go!

Incredible Experiences In An Incredible Country

Vietnam is blessed with natural beauty. It has it all. Mountains, lowlands, a huge coastline blessed with beaches, national parks that are the envy of the world like Sapa and Halong Bay, and a culturally rich and troubled history that makes visiting Vietnam such a unique and interesting experience, it will be more than your average holiday.

This trip is about showing you all the best sites and attractions in Vietnam, whilst offering you lots of cultural interaction in a group and leaving you happy in the knowledge that you will be well looked after during your stay.

Group Sizes

Our group sizes for Vietnam are small, and an average age between 18 to 22 years old, this is the ideal trip to book if you are dead keen on seeing Vietnam and want personalised action and intimate groups.

 

 

Photos

Details

The 3 week Itinerary

First Week

Day 1, Arrival Day

Arriving on Sunday or start your adventure in the all some ancient capital of North Vietnam Hanoi. This is it! The beginning of your 3-week adventure that is full of excitement, culture, history, a road trip and great times with new friends. With an airport pick up included you settle into your accommodation in Hanoi, you´ll get a chance to meet up with your fellow backpackers and find out about everyone you´ll be spending the next few weeks with.

Most people on our Vietnam Experience are in the same boat, i.e. they are travelling solo, so there is no need to be nervous. You´ll be far too busy to worry about that!

Day 2 Hanoi old quarter

Xtreme Gap Vietnam experienceTo new visitors, Hanoi is a fantastic city bustling with crazy drivers, overloaded bicycles, colourful markets and street food stalls selling local dishes, some of which aren´t always identifiable (and yes, they are partial to chomping on a bit of Fido!).

Luckily you have a guide to help you through that initial culture shock, allowing you to absorb it with a bit of help. You´ll visit the 12th century Temple of Literature, see a local music performance and have lunch in the Old Quarter when your guide will take the opportunity to tell you all about what the next four weeks has in store. In the evening, you´ll have dinner and see a performance at the world famous water puppet theatre.

By the end of today, the sensory overload will either have you sleeping like a log or wide awake with wonder! Check out this gallery on our blog for more photos!

Day 3

Halong BayToday we are heading to Halong City gateway to the world heritage site of Halong Bay.

Halong Bay, which means ´Bay of the Descending Dragon´, is approximately 170km north of Hanoi and is famous for its surreal and somewhat eerie landscape of over 3000 limestone monoliths that rise imposingly from the ocean.

Just make sure that you get those all important emails addresses from your trip mates so that you can swap photos and keep each other up-to-date with any more adventures you do. Believe us, this trip will leave you wanting more. There is no vaccination for the travel bug!!

Day 4 and 5

Vietnam is full of epic landscapes, Giao Xuan is a stunning little village that will not disappoint. Today we’ll learn everything there is to know about Vietnamese culture. You will be learning some basic trying your hand Vietnamese cooking, and we will even take you to a local market where you can haggle for some ingredients for a major feast later that day.

Day 6 Quintessential Vietnam paddy fields caves and temples

Vietnam gap yearToday involves a relaxing boat trip around Tam Coc and Dinh Cac Pier, which has a stunning landscape of towering karst islets and vast expanses of paddy fields. You´ll also float through three impressive natural caves, which is what the name Tam Coc means, ´three caves´. This whole area epitomizes rural Vietnam, and you´ll want to make sure your camera is charged.

After lunch, you can cycle to the village and onto Thai Vi Temple and Bich Dong Pagoda, which dates back to 1428 and is located on Ngu Nhac Mountain.

Day 7 and 8 (Sat & Sun)

Its weekend! You have a couple of days ´off´ at this point in the trip – that is you are free to explore at your own pace and see what you and your adventuring friends can find. Meet up in the evenings and swap stories and photos with the whole group, while soaking up the atmosphere and thinking about everything you’ve seen and done so far. Typically the groups head out to Cuc Phuong National Park, the picturesque waterfall, and temples of the 11th c former capital, Hoa Lu. Our guides can offer you advise on what’s best to see in the area.

Second Week:

Day 9 (Mon) Sapa

A local village, hill tribes and beautiful scenery are on the agenda today. Cat Cat Village is about 1km from Sapa, located at the bottom of the Muong Hoa Valley and as you walk there you´ll see the breathtaking mountains, over 3000m high, and the green rice terraces that drop almost 1000m below. You´ll also pass the sparkling Cat Cat waterfall. The village itself is home to the H´Mong tribe, who retain many of the old customs and traditions, some of which you can see, such as hand weaving and dying of materials to make textiles. Have you still got room for souvenirs?!

Locals and villages

We hope you´re feeling well rested for today as there is a 10km trek through the hills, past the streams and into the valley of Muong Hoa to visit Ta Van village, where you’ll stay overnight with a local family. This gives you the chance to experience firsthand the lifestyle and culture of the people living in this area. After the long trek, the pool is bound to look appealing to soothe those aching muscles! You also have the chance to pitch in and help to cook dinner (you might even get to use some of the skills you learnt in your cookery class) before settling down for a peaceful night with your local hosts.

Day 10 (Tue) trekking
Bring your trekking boots because we are going on an epic journey. 10 hours of trekking through hills, paddy fields and classic Asian scenery until we hit Ta Van village. Take a dip in the pool there because you have deserved it.

Day 11 (Wed) Waterfalls and landscapes and trekking

You´ll have been glad for a peaceful night as today is an amazing seven hour round trip trekking to a waterfall and passing through some stunning landscapes along the way something that you´ll probably be getting used to now, given how beautiful the country is. Anyway, you´re young and fit so no slacking, you can handle it!

Day 12 (Thu) Sapa

Back to Sapa and a well earned rest. Kick back and sip a 666 Vietnamese beer. Super cheap and very tasty!

Sapa town

Sapa  is perfect for a well-earned rest. You´re more than halfway through your adventure so you can sit back, chill out and reflect on all the places you’ve been, things you see and people you´ve met so far. We reckon by this point you´ll realize this is one of the best things you’ve ever done!

If you are up for it check out the beautiful orchid gardens on the Ham Rong Mountain. Located in Sapa town, you don´t have far to travel to admire the panoramic views, gardens and unusual rock formations. It is well worth the effort of walking to the top as once you get there, and along the way, you´ll be rewarded with some great photo opportunities.

Day 13 (Fri) Market

Today you’ll visit the beautiful local market and beautiful old Sapa church in the morning.  You’ll have free time for the rest of the day until your bus back to Hanoi.

 

Day 14 and 15 (Sat & Sun) Hanoi craziness free time

Yes weekend again :). You’ve had quite a number of days admiring the beautiful Vietnam countryside and now it´s back to crazy Hanoi. You have a couple of days to explore more of the city, after which time you can decide whether you love it or hate it, it´s a bit like Marmite! Your guide will be able to give you the lowdown on the best places to visit and where to eat and drink.

You then have two days to explore the incredible city of Hanoi – our guides can give you some great suggestions of places to go, although often the group will have their own ideas there is only things you can see and do it will be hard to cram it all in. Stock up on snacks and charge your smartphone batteries because the following night you will be doing a very long bus trip which takes us to Hoi an.

Third Week 3: Days 16 – 21

Day 16 Hoi An is awesome

You will arrival to Hoi An in the afternoon and have time to visit Hoi An Old Quarter.  It has a distinctly French colonial flare, and it’s also an awesome place to get any type of clothing tailor-made for you!

You could spend time exploring the town and its many alleyways of cute shops, cafes and extensive food market or maybe hire a scooter and head out to the gorgeous local beaches.

Day 17 Ancient Ruins

You will visit the ancient ruins of the Cham dynasty in My Son. Ancient ruined temples two massive towers a really special place.

We will join the bus to transfer to Nha Trang tonight.

Day 18 & 19 Beach time

Na Trang has fantastic beaches and great nightlife. Nha Trang’s golden beaches are yours for the taking, alternatively, take a boat trip to nearby islands or sample sumptuous seafood.

Day 20 Saigon/ Ho Chi Minh

It’s been a huge epic journey but finally, we’ve made it to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Sai Gon)! Arguably one of the most beautiful cities in Vietnam, it has a distinctively different feel to Hanoi.

Day 21 (Sat) Saying goodbyes

On day 24 you will stay in Sai Gon where it will be time to say goodbye to your travel buddies. Lifelong friendships will have been formed, incredible time is had by all, in a truly stunning country. At the end of an amazing trip before continuing with your onward travels

Meals

Only breakfast is included throughout the programme. But you can get a nice (and cheap) meal on every corner of every street. Meals are about 1 to 3 GBP per meal.

Vietnamese meals consist of rice or noodles accompanied by fish or meat and a vegetable dish or soup. But in many places, you can also get Western food like pizza!

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

The winter months are December, January and February. It can be quite cold as you also go up to the north is Sapa, which is in the mountains. In January, there is no start date but in December there is. Be aware that you can not sunbathe.
Vietnam is a very safe country to travel in. You will also have a co-ordinator with you at all times.

No! You can get away with taking about 100 per week, and that will go a long way! A beer on the street in Hanoi is about 7p.

Duration Option Price  
3 (Week)AdventureUSD 1099Book Now

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Included

  • Pre-departure information
  • Airport transfer on arrival to make it easy for you!
  • Fully guided with local knowledgeable English speaking Guides
  • Trip to the Water Puppet Theatre
  • Visit Ho Chi Minh Memorial
  • 21 nights’ accommodation
  • Most Breakfasts
  • Meals in Halong Bay (on the boat)
  • Overnight in rural village homestay
  • Black H’Mong hill tribes and scenic waterfalls
  • Guided jungle trek in Cuc Phuong National Park and visit to Muong ethnic community  (Optional extra)
  • Boat trip in Tam Coc
  • Stunning boat trip in Halong Bay
  • Experience a Vietnamese floating village
  • Adventure Kayaking in Lan Ha Bay
  • Hanoi city tour
  • Overnight Train to Hoi An
  • Walking tour of Hoi Ans beautiful waterways
  • Cham dynasty  temples in My Son
  • Adventure Trek to Cat Cat Village
  • 2 Glorious days by the beach in Nha Trang
  • Tour of Ho Chi Minh City
  • Vietnamese cooking lessons
  • Vietnamese language lessons
  • Access to buddy lists before you go

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Extra activities not on itinerary
  • Tourist Visa
  • Travel Insurance
  • Return airport transfer
  • Drinks
  • Lunch and Dinner
  • Breakfasts during travel days
  • Extra night if needed at the end of the trip in Ho Chi Minh

Dates

Starts on a Sunday ends on a Saturday

2017
12 February 2017 – 04 March 2017
19 March 2017 – 08 April 2017
16 July 2017 – 05 August 2017
13 August 2017 – 02 September 2017
10 September 2017 – 30 September 2017
22 October 2017 – 11 November 2017
19 November 2017 – 09 December 2017
24 December 2017 – 13 January 2018

2018

14 January 2018 – 03 February 2018
18 February 2018 – 10 March 2018
18 March 2018 – 07 April 2018
15 April 2018 – 05 May 2018
17 June 2018 – 07 July 2018
15 July 2018 – 04 August 2018
12 August 2018 – 01 September 2018
16 September 2018- 06 October 2018
11 November 2018 – 01 December 2018

COMBINE WITH THE 4 WEEK THAILAND EXPERIENCE STARTING THE SUNDAY AFTER

Thailand Entourage

The perfect mix of action, adventure, fullmoon parties and new mates in the best paradise Islands. This 4 week trip is a great way to see the many sides of Thailand whilst experiencing the varied nightlife, fun in the sun on some of the worlds best beaches and taking in stunning sites of Thailand. All of this with amazing guides and an epic group of new mates, perfect for solo and first time travellers.

Join our groups on an amazing four week travel adventure trough Thailand. An incredible insight into Thai culture followed by  Party, Action and Adventure on a life changing trip! A great way to see the many sides of Thailand whilst experiencing the varied nightlife, fun in the sun on some of the worlds best beaches, and taking in stunning sites of Thailand. All of this with amazing guides and an epic group of new mates.


The Thailand Entourage

4 Weeks of Incredible Adventures With New Mates!

Intro &
Culture

Adventure &
Party

Action &
Adrenaline

Action Week

Tropical Beach
& Sea

Beach Week

Settle in and discover Thailand.

Easy arrival with an airport pick-up and western guides. Make new friends as you meet other people in the group before you travel. Learn about Thailand its culture and history. Party on Khao San Road and shop till you drop in Bangkok. Also in the first week we stay overnight at a stunning national park, sleep in bamboo huts on the lake, stunning.

Head south backpacking to Paradise Islands.

The adventure and party week involves you backpacking to some of the most beautiful places in Thailand. With fun and adventure on the way, we take you to lookout points for stunning sunsets, slip and slide water parks, and cram in as much extreme adventures you can handle. We even take you to the full moon party.

Choose the perfect action week activity!

You can choose your activity, its up to you! Get the perfect beach body with Cross-Fit. Learn the National martial art Muay Thai. Increase your well-being with a jungle yoga package. Learn free diving. Learn how to scuba dive.  Plus with any pack: Take part in an action-packed adventure day!

Top off the tan with well-earned beach time.

Laze about on amazing tropical beaches. Go green and help save Koh Tao with the eco conservation day. Go Stand Up Paddling and join us on a boat trip to a stunning little island 20 min. of the coast of Koh Tao. 

Xtreme Entourage Highlights Include:

  • Exploring exciting Bangkok by the backpacking Mecca Khao San Road
  • Learning about Thailand’s culture, history and visit temples
  • Visit and stay overnight in Bamboo huts on the lake in Khao Sok National park
  • Xtreme Shipwrecked adventure with overnight stay on the beautiful and remote bottle beach
  • Action and adventure and big laughs on the slip and fly and wipe out courses!
  • Fully guided full moon party with pre warm up and post hangover care!
  • Adrenaline Adventures on Koh Tao like abseiling, snorkelling and diving and freediving, kick boxing and cross fit. If you prefer to chill out a little, you can with a yoga course
  • You can give something back and enrol the conservation day with free BBQ to say thanks! (if dates co-inside)
  • Xtreme Gap Year Thailand (1)Koh Tao Adventure day. Snorkelling and boatride to stunning tiny island
  • Free Stand up paddle and discover scuba dive morning!
  • Lots of chill time on Koh Tao, Koh Phan Ngan and beach parties to remember
  • Meet and chat to other Xtreme Gappers with an online Buddy list before you travel too!
  • Western guide who will be there for you and make this the best trip ever!

PHOTOS

Video Overviews:

Week 1 & 2:

Week 3 & 4


Thai Intro and Culture Week (1)

 This section of the itinerary is all about getting to know each other, and this incredible country. We want you to understand the cultures and customs of Thailand. Learn about the history and heritage and have a deeper experience than just your typical backpacker.

Day 1 – Airport pick up

Arriving into Bangkok will be an exciting moment. Your first step into a new world of adventure travel. Do not worry, our guides will be there to meet and greet you off your flight and take you to your guest-house in Bangkok. Here the rest of the group will be waiting for you, and you will be taken for welcome drinks in the evening when the ice will well and truly be broken.

Please note you can actually arrive up to 2 days early and still have your airport pick-up. You will have to pay for accommodation locally if you choose to take extra days.

Day 2 – River cruise, Temples & Tuk Tuk’s

Thailand group travel (4)We will start the day with a safety talk, and a welcome orientation session.  Your guide will give you a welcome orientation pack, and give you a breakdown of the itinerary. Now is your opportunity to ask any questions! We will discuss Thai culture, dos and don’ts and learn more about the history of this incredible country.

We then take a long tail boat down the Chao Phrya river as we head to two of the most famous temples in Bangkok Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) and Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha).

At Wat Pho we will have an English speaking Thai guide taking us around the grounds for an hour or so before heading back towards Khao San Road via Tuk Tuk. In the evening we will head out for our last night in Bangkok so buckets and street food will be in full flow.

Day 3 – Markets, Shopping and Train

Today we will check out of our guest-house in Bangkok (leaving bags safely locked up in the guest-house for the day). You can visit authentic Thai markets, or hit the modern MBK shopping centre and hunt for bargains! Pack light to Thailand, because clothes are cheap and you want to fill your bags with new wares! Sample some amazing Asian food, before we regroup and head to the train station in the evening after picking up our bags.

But before heading to the train station we will have time to hit the market stalls for some last minute bargains before heading down to the islands. We leave around 4pm to go to Hulampong train station to catch our overnight train.

Day 4 – Khao Sok National Park

Swap the hustle and bustle of Bangkok for the tranquil lakes of Khao Sok National Park. Early morning we disembark the train and head to our floating bungalows by longtail boat. Enroute we stop off at one of our favourite swimming spots before arriving at our destination.  You will have day to try some kayaking or chill with a beer in a tube in front of the stunning backdrop of this limestone mountain range. We’ll be staying in floating bungalows on a fresh-water lake surrounded by rainforest which looks like something out of Jurassic Park! Food is included.

Day 5 – Arrive in Phangan – Bottle Beach

Travel to Koh Phangan by ferry and head straight to a secluded paradise beach. Bottle Beach is our favorite beach in the world, and for good reason. It is quiet, amazingly beautiful, only accessible by boat and to make it even better, we pretty much get the whole place to ourselves.  Relax here for the afternoon and enjoy a spot of volleyball, pool, sunbathing or swimming. In the evening we can enjoy dinner and some cocktails on the beach next to a camp fire with fire show and then either  get an early one or party into the night with our own private beach party in paradise.

Adventure & Party Week (2)

This section of the itinerary turns up the adventure dial to Max! Loads of different activities unique to Xtreme! From shipwrecked adventures, to waterpark challenge courses epic sunsets and of course finishing with the ultimate full moon party experience.

Day 6 – Beaches and Muay Thai in Haad Rin!

Wake up in your own time to the sound of the waves rolling on to the beach or get up early and make the most of this amazing place. Kayak, play volleyball, sunbathe, swim or even do some optional wake boarding courtesy of our mate Jamie from Wake Up Wakeboarding who drives round in his boat just for us! (If conditions allow). We are picked up early afternoon and taken back to our main Koh Phangan accommodation via a local Muay Thai gym so you can try out a bit of Thailand’s national sport, Thai Boxing!

After we have checked in and showered, we will arrange a time for dinner , watch the sun go down from our beach side resort and then maybe head down to Haad Rin beach (or one of the islands many other awesome parties) for drinks and more good times!

Day 7 – Koh Phangan Island Boat Cruise

Today we embark on a voyage around Koh Phangan on board our big boat. Spend the day taking in the amazing tropical island scenery, stop for some snorkelling and to see a waterfall (seasonal), check out some beaches and relax or party on board. As if it couldn’t get any better, we have free drinks, food and booze all day.

Day 8 – Check In Full Moon Hostel

Today we move into our Full Moon accommodation for the last 5 days of activities and parties. Again, the hostel we use is right on the beach and is definitely the coolest hostel in Phangan, complete with tree house hammock station, boat lounge, puppy play pen, pool table, bar and restaurant.

Day 9- Phangan Challenge Lake and Bar pool party!

We take a drive up the West coast of Phangan to Laem Som lake where we will spend the afternoon attempting to tackle the famous Phangan Total Wipeout course, chilling by the lake and playing on the inflatables assault course. In the evening we will head up the hill to probably the best place you will ever watch a sunset from. It is a very, very cool bar with music, cocktails, beer, viewing deck from where you can see right out to sea and over to Samui and Ang Thong Marine Park. The bar even has a swimming pool which… Can it get any better? Read more here.

Day 10 – Slip n Fly

We head to one of Phangan’s newest adventures– The Slip n Fly, for some water fun on the gigantic slides with a chill out pool, volleyball, games and action. Today is all about having fun and laughs with your mates. Get ready for some serious good times.

 

Day 11 – Full Moon Party!

New Thailand Experience Fullmoon Party 2016 (5)Free day to recharge and prepare. We will meet in our hostel in the evening for pre party drinks and UV painting session before heading to the beach to do the Full Moon Party in Xtreme Gap Year style! Those of you hardcore enough to make it till sunrise, this is the best part as the sun will rise out of the sea onto the party beach. An incredible moment!

The full moon party is fully guided and safe as the guide is there for you, and done the party quite a few times… Our reps are on hand to make sure you have a good time and remember it for all the right reasons.

Day 12 – Recovery Day

Depending on what time you stumble in from the party you will probably need some of today to sleep and recover so the only activity planned for today is a nice Thai massage (included and the best massage in the world – especially on a hangover) and possibly a film at a local bar. Make sure you have an incredible tasty Thai banana shake as this will really help with your hangover.

Action & Adrenaline Week (3)

Day 13 – Koh Tao Bound

Xtreme Gappers (48)Hopefully, by now you have made a full recovery as it is time to head over to start the next part of your adventure: The legendary Koh Tao! We take the trip over on the boat, it’s a spectacular journey where you see emerald green palm trees coming closer into view and the two twin peaks of this stunning island rising over the horizon. This will be your new home away from home and a place you will never want to leave.

On arrival, you will be picked up from the pier, and transferred by car to your new resort with swimming pool. A nice breakfast is waiting for you. After that, we check you in and you can check out the resort, chill by the pool or take a short stroll to the beach. In the afternoon around 4 you will meet our Koh Tao guide at the bar of the resort and give you an intro to Koh Tao. We will show you around, tell you the essentials, show you where everything is like ATMs, pharmacies, beaches and activity locations. Your guide is on hand throughout the week.

We stop off in the nicest little Thai restaurant and have our first meal out together on Koh Tao.

Day 14 – 21  Koh Tao Action

IMG_1904

You can choose your own activity for your third week. You have to pick the activity you want to undertake at the time of booking, as this will affect the price of the trip. You have a nice mix of free time and activities arranged. We do not break down the day by day itinerary in this section, because it can change depending on what activities you pick.

Check out the amazing beaches, get involved in some cool adventures with your new friends and enjoy the epic nightlife. There will be plenty to do and certainly never a dull moment!

No matter what activity you pick you will be having a Koh Tao Adventure Day

THE ADVENTURE DAY

The Koh Tao adventure day with boats, snorkelling, paradise islands and stunning view point.

Everyone meets at the Xtreme Gap Resort for a breakdown of the days activities.   Expect to be taken to a pretty amazing viewpoint on the neighbouring paradise island of Koh Nangyuan. Even the ride itself is a lot of fun, open air on a longtail boat with spectacular views of Sairee beach.

There will be plenty of time to explore the island, swim with tropical fish and chill on in this piece of perfection.

 

Beach For Sunset

On arrival at Sairee beach, we will pull up to Sunset Pool Bar, one of the biggest and best beach venues in Koh Tao.

Available Included Xtreme Activities On Koh Tao

Unlike the adventure week you do need to choose which option you will take at the time of booking (some options are cheaper than others)  so please refer to the prices section to see how this influences the price of the trip.

Take your pick, what activity would you like to include in week 3?

So when you are lying on a dreamy white sandy beach, in a paradise setting wouldn’t it be nice to have the body to match. With our cross fit package you can! Four full on cross fit sessions, with professional accredited Cross fitness trainers will whip you into shape so you will not feel guilty about lazing on the beach, and dipping into the Gulf of Thailand will be so much more rewarding.

If you are not familiar with the concept of cross fit, you can join the 4 Foundation classes. These 4 classes will teach you all the basic movements and techniques for CrossFit, so that they are able to do the movements safely and effectively. These classes are similar to personal training as our coach will spend lots of time helping them with the movements.

We run the Foundation classes every day at 10.15am and so they can easily do the Foundation classes in a week.

The fit package is the most popular option. It includes 5 Muay Thai sessions taken over five days. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never done it before, learning the national sport of Thailand in a cool jungle gym is an awesome experience. It is a great way to try something new, get really fit and learn much more about the culture of Thailand.

You will undergo a modified non-contact training regime in the camp that host monthly Muay Thai fights, a really authentic and cool experience! Some like to do it in the morning and then hit the beach others like the cooler evening training times.

Probably one of our most chilled out options, you have five sessions working on your well-being, and flexibility with a fantastic yoga package. Set in landscaped gardens surrounded by coconut groves there’s a special feeling about the place.

Just a short stroll from the ocean you will find a gorgeous yoga Sala, where we have included five sessions are you to get into yoga spirituality and hopefully find Nirvana.

Even if you’ve never tried yoga before this is the perfect place to do it, as everyone is welcome to come and give it a go and it is the perfect activity to take if you want to turn your Koh Tao experience into the ultimate chilled out beach time.

This costs a little more but it is a full blow open water course worth over £250. The course lasts 3/4 days and includes 4 dives in the beautiful Gulf of Thailand. Afterwards, you have your PADI Open Water license and can dive anywhere in the world!

This is probably the most Xtreme option, and one of the most rewarding! Our professional freediver instructors will teach you the basics of Freediving, and accompany you down to depths of 12 metres!

The actual course itself lasts 2 days and included theory and water based instruction. Free diving is about breath holds diving, so no use scuba equipment. This means you are not limited by nitrogen in your blood or depth limits. It takes mental and physical training to become an expert free diver, but our course will certainly get you well on your way there. With beautiful Marine life, soft and hard corals it’s a great way to train yourself to experience the best that the underwater environment has to offer in Koh Tao.

If you’re really lucky you may even get a free diving the whale shark!

No matter what action week activity you pick you will also do the adventure day and there is plenty going on on the island as well and you have lots of chill time on some of the most amazing beaches! Not a day goes by where you will ever get bored especially when gazing at a bright orange sun setting into the Gulf of Thailand from a pristine white beach.

Beach & Chill week

Day 22 – 28  Koh Tao: Beach Time

You have a nice mix of free time and activities arranged.

Other Activities included? Yes there are more…

Xtreme Discover Scuba Dive & Stand Up Paddling

With crystal clear waters, water sports on Koh Tao are amazing! Included as part of the programme you get to try out scuba diving! Safely guiding you in a swimming pool, in a controlled environment. We will let you try out breathing underwater from scuba gear. It’s a great way to get a feel for diving, and an incredible experience is never done it before. If you do like it, you can always upgrade to doing an open water course and take full advantage of the fact that Koh Tao is one of the best places to learn to dive in the world. If diving really is not your thing, don’t worry you don’t have to do it but most people who try and not going for a full-blown ought course afterwards. It’s an amazing experience to explore and breathe underwater. This is just one of many extra additional inclusions we throw into the trip, where other companies would leave you to go “snorkelling”.

You can upgrade locally to do a full diving course, or pre book it with us.

Boat Trip Koh Koh Nang Yuan

This island just 20 min by boat from Koh Tao can not be missed. It is picture perfect. We take  up to an amazing look out point and  you have time to chill on the beach or go snorkelling (there is a local payment of about 2 GBP to gain access to the island)

Beach Clean up day (set dates, not always included)

Ecodave Xtreme GapAt Xtreme gap year we strongly believe in leaving a positive impact on the locations we visit. Mass tourism does take its toll on the environment. This is especially true on small tropical islands like Koh Tao. We strongly feel  it is everyone’s responsibility to make a contribution to maintaining, and improving the places that we visit. We have partnered with Koh Tao’s leading conservation organisations and every trip we run makes a financial contribution to Eco-conservation efforts.

So as part of this trip, we co-host an eco-day. This is split into two parts. A lecture by leading conservationists, on marine conservation, and a hands-on beach clean-up so you can make a physical real difference during your trip. The aim is to provide you with information so you can make people aware of the issues. As well as physically helping out with marine conservation efforts.

It’s a fun day out, it’s a great way to see lots of out of the way beaches on Koh Tao, and feel good about yourself whilst making a positive difference on the island. In the evening we finish up with a barbecue, in one of Koh Tao’s hotspots by way of saying thanks for your efforts.

If you have completed your open water is part of this programme, you can be involved in underwater clean-ups, if not its land-based conservation which is just as, or if not even more vital to marine conservation efforts. 80% of trash entering the waters comes from land-based sources.

 

More about Koh Tao

TROPICAL ISLAND PARADISE…WOW!

Xtreme Gappers (59)Koh Tao has some of the best beaches in Thailand, it is also one of the most popular backpacker hubs in South East Asia, but not ruined like some of the other islands, there is a great community and vibe to the place you are going to love spending time here.

This part of the trip is all about being social and having fun, you can take long tail boat trips round the island, enjoy amazing Thai food and stay up all night in some of the best beach clubs and bars in Asia. After a few days of chill, you will want to pick up the pace again, so we finish the trip with the action week! The Koh Tao adventure day is the perfect end to the week.

FOOD & EATING OUT

Please note we do not include food during this trip, there are plenty of restaurants serving delicious and healthy Thai food as little as one – three pound per meal and there is a restaurant the resort also.

We do not include food because it’s such a sociable atmosphere with so many great places to eat and explore you will want to go off and eat out with lots of new friends. Including food would really limit your options and detract from the whole experience.

NIGHTLIFE & BEACH TIME

Koh Tao Adventure (6)Koh Tao is not only famous for its great diving and beautiful beaches, there is quite a party scene there too! Picture cool beach bars, fire shows, awesome night clubs like Moov and Fizz bar all within easily stumbling distance to your accommodation. If you want to have some serious fun after the sun sets, you will not be disappointed.

This is a great way to finish up on your trip, after experiencing the culture its time to party. Speaking of which…

Your Accommodation on Koh Tao

Because you stay in various different locations throughout the trip accommodation does vary, however expect to stay in comfortable and clean and secure accommodation. On the islands, you will stay in a very nice resort, with a swimming pool set in beautiful Thai Gardens just a short walk from the beach.

It’s the main resort Xtreme Gap uses in Thailand, Xtreme Gappers to hang out with and share adventures. Accommodation is shared on a twin share in a Fan Room.

The accommodation in the resort in Koh Tao is the basic fan option at a great resort, perfect for your stay in paradise. A short stroll through a lovely street with little shops and some restaurants and just 5 min from the beach will get you to this perfectly located resort. A beautiful and laid back resort with a swimming pool, bar and restaurant set in tropical Thai gardens. The fan rooms are spacious, clean and comfortable, have an en-suite and there is a maid service twice a week and a laundry service (approx. £1.50 per big bag load) located next door.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, most of our travellers are solo travellers. You will meet lots of people on the different weeks. With group start dates and lots of group activities you will make new friends really easy.

The trip ends in Koh Tao, please note return transfer is not included in the price of the trip. This is because many people choose to travel onwards to other locations or stay in Koh Tao to do further programmes.

Returning back to Bangkok to meet your flight is very easy, transfers can be arranged on Koh Tao through rep and the cost is approximately £15. If you’re flying out straight after the trip ends, you have two options to meet your flight in Bangkok.

Our recommended option is to fly from Koh Samui directly to Bangkok airport, rep can organise your bus tickets to Samui airport, this will involve catching the boat late morning and arriving in Koh Samui at around three o’clock. Transfers are provided from the pier direct to the airport and are complimentary.

Please ensure that your flights are not booked any earlier than this and do allow for delays, so we would recommend not booking a flight back to Bangkok until the afternoon which also allows time to check in at the airport as well. Check Bangkok Airways the cheap flights booked ahead this should not cost you any more than £30 the flight time is approximately 40 min.

Option two would be to get the morning boat from Koh Tao back to Bangkok via bus and boat, the transfer time between six and eight hours typically you will get back into Bangkok about 10 o’clock in the evening. This would require an extra night stay in Bangkok, and if you are to pursue this option we do not recommend you do not organise your international flight until Sunday. Again the cost for this transfer is about £15.

If you are planning on travelling to Thailand for 30 days or less and you have British, Dutch or USA passport you can get a Visa exemption on arrival. This is valid for 30days and cannot be extended in Thailand. If you are planning on being in Thailand longer than 30 days you will need to pre-arrange a Visa. You can prearrange a visa for 60 days which you can extend to 90 days in Thailand.

There are two ways of arranging your visa. When you are from the UK. You can either go in person to the Thai embassy in London, or you can post your passport along with the necessary documentation and fee to one of the Thai Consulates. In general this works the same for the other countries like The Netherlands and United States too, but please contact the nearest Thai Consulate for visa enquiries.

Some of our customers prefer a bigger room or an aircon room. We can arrange this, but it needs to be done at the time of booking, as the resort often fills up. If you are on the programme and still want to arrange it, you would have to arrange that with reception at the resort, and pay for accommodation again. So best to let us know at time of booking.

Absolutely our guides will be there to meet you off your flight. In fact, you can even arrive up to 2 days early will still provide airport pickup for you. If you are nervous about flying on your own, we also hook you up with a buddy list where you can chat to other people on your trip prior to booking your flights. That means you can coordinate your flights together and have a travel buddy as you go. .

This is a hard question as age range does vary. Is this trip suitable for you? The average age on this trip is between 19 and 26. Although it is open to all. The make up of the groups is usually 60% female to 40% male, just going to show, girls really are braver than boys! So come on lads, what are you waiting for? Prove us wrong!

Its recommend you bringing £20 per day spending money. You can get away with less, but if you are a bit of a party animal you can certainly spend more. A beer in Thailand will cost you around 60p, and you can eat a very healthy tasty Thai meal for around 2 pounds. 1 pound will get all of your close laundered and dried for you. There is a lot of activities included in the programme, but you may wish to bring a bit more money for extra activities counter along the way.

The price of flights can vary greatly throughout the year, from as little as £400 return to Thailand up to £1000 peak season. The general rule is the sooner you book your flight the cheaper they are so book with us as soon as possible, in order to secure the best deals on flights. Please do not book your flights prior to booking your space on the programme, as we need to ensure a spot is free for you.

Thailand is a very safe country in general, it does however get a lot of press due to the political situation. Comparatively you are more in danger in a big city in western Europe then you are backpacking in Thailand. We have a guide with you at all times, and there is a great support network available to you to help you out even for the little things like losing your bank card.

FINALLY

We can also send you loads of information on this trip and the locations so get trip notes for more details!

Full details on your options to get back to Bangkok are included in a very detailed predeparture pack, which we send you after booking. You will also be set up with an online buddy list so you can chat to other members of the group in Koh Tao. The trip ends in Koh Tao. Check the FAQ section for details on how to get back to the airport.

Please do book early

This can be a very popular trip so make sure you get booked up ASAP! You can secure your spot for only £200 by submitting a booking form. Do it now! So now you have read about the trip, you might want to check out where you will be staying or a break down of everything included.

Duration Option Price  
4 (Week)Muay Thai OptionUSD 1299Book Now
4 (Week)Yoga OptionUSD 1459Book Now
4 (Week)Free diving OptionUSD 1499Book Now
4 (Week)Open Water OptionUSD 1659Book Now

Pricing Feedback

Great Value
Well Priced
Can´t Afford it right now

What makes this trip different from other companies tours in Thailand? A lot. Literally: we include way more in our trips than other companies. 

Xtreme Gap began on Koh Tao, and we are one of the only gap year companies to actually have a base and staff located there. We know the island we know the country and we know how to squeeze the most amount of fun out of 28 days. Compare this to other trips you will quickly discover that we have way more inclusions, and budget a lot more to make your trip as exciting and fun as possible. We can do this because we are an online company, we keep our overheads low enabling us to include more about trips without having to increase the price of our packages.

Included

The fun stuff

  • Exploring the history and culture of Bangkok by visiting various temples
  • The boat trip down the Chao Praya River
  • Legendary night out on Koh San Road
  • Staying over night in Khao Sok National park!
  • Shipwrecked adventure on bottle beach in Koh Pha Ngan
  • Breathtaking sunsets in the Amsterdam bar infinity pool
  • Guided full moon party, with a much-needed hangover day and free massage
  • Total wipeout course (also known as the lake challenge)
  • Plenty of beach time on one of the most beautiful tropical paradise islands of the world
  • Stand Up Paddling hour
  • Free Discover Scuba dive session
  • Round trip to Koh Nang Yuan island
  • Opportunity to give something back with with eco-conservation activities
  • Koh Tao adventure day which includes:
      • Koh Tao adventure day with boats, snorkelling, paradise islands and view points
  • Koh Tao activity option Week inclusions (pick one option and let us know by filling it out in the notes section when booking):
    • Get fit pack: 5 Muay Thai Sessions (5 hours), all equipment (for rent included) and training one on one with a Muay Thai Trainer
    • Get ripped pack: 4 Crossfit sessions. These 4 classes will teach you all the basic movements and techniques for CrossFit
    • Xtreme Freediving Pack: a 2 day beginner free diving course worth £399!
    • Relax With Yoga: 5 yoga sessions spread out over 5 days
    • The learn to dive course includes a full PADI open water course, course materials, instruction and 4 dives
  • Full moon party included! Its guided and awesome.

The Essentials

  • Personally met at the airport
  • Super nice Western guides
  • All Accommodation (27 nights)
  • Nights out (own expense but guided)
  • Transport taking you to different parts of Thailand
  • Breakfast on arrival in Koh Tao
  • Island introduction on Koh Tao: on arrival we will take you out for a gorgeous Thai meal and introduce you to other Xtreme Gappers  on the island. In Koh Tao there are plenty of Xtreme Gappers doing other programmes as well.
  • Free Wi-Fi at most resorts
  • Back up & support second to none. Services of our tour leaders and English-speaking reps who are available and based locally  24/7.

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Visas (if staying longer than 30 days there are small fees to obtain the correct visa)
  • Insurance
  • Return transfer from Koh Tao to BKK (but can be arranged locally for approx Euro 15)
  • Meals in Thailand (Approx £6 – 15 per day)

Dates

2017 Dates

03rd January – 30th January
2nd February- 28th March
01st March – 28th March
01st April – 28th April
01st May – 28th May
30th May – 26th June
30th June – 27th July Sold Out
1st July- 28th July
28th July – 24 Aug: Sold Out

new Thailand entourage running from 13 august 2017

Backpacking in South East Asia

Get off the beaten path and visit Laos! Let us take you off the beaten path on our backpacker trip in Laos. Starting in Bangkok Thailand, you can head through one of the most rewarding countries in South East Asia, and experience the joys of tubing, waterfalls and mind boggling scenery and beer Lao!

Get off the beaten path and visit Laos! Let us take you off the beaten path on our backpacker trip in Laos. Starting in Bangkok Thailand, you can head through one of the most rewarding countries in South East Asia, and experience the joys of tubing, waterfalls and mind boggling scenery and beer Lao!
 

Discover The Best Parts  of South East Asia

backpacking in south east asia (1)Backpacking in South East Asia´s incredible Laos, Cambodia and Thailand!
Discovering mountain villages, with incredible views and a country set back in time in Laos. Find out why people rave about Luang Prabang and Vientiane on our blog and not forgetting there is the awesome tubing experience, drifting down a river in an inner tire stopping off at bars and rope swings all the way down.
Cambodia will amaze and horrify you with an incredible history and people. See the horrifying S21 Genocide museum in Phnom Penh, relax on an undeveloped island in Koh Tunsay and speed down an abandon railway on a bamboo cart.

 

Backpacking in South East Asia Highlights:

  • backpacking in south east asia (5)Trek to mountain villages, see a way of life less known, and most of all be greeted by a heart warming “Sabaidee”
  • Travel on trains, buses, longboats and tuk tuks up Thailand and around Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, the friendliest and least discovered country in Asia!
  • This is the first guided bus travel network in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam! Connect from Thailand on trains and traverse Laos from north to south to Cambodia and then on to Vietnam, or choose a section that appeals to you.
  • We have an extensive range of South East Asian bus tours and travel passes for all time frames.
  • Your pass is valid for 12 months so take your time to explore!
  • ´Jump-on´ and ´jump-off´ the trip anywhere that you want along the way around our comprehensive route.
  • Go further off the beaten track and save money with unique down-to-earth stops, local culture and amazing activities.
  • Travel with like-minded people, and get guidance from our legendary guides and local drivers.
  • Our guides organise your accommodation at each overnight stop from guest houses, backpacker hostels, budget hotels, ecolodges and camping.
  • Backpacking in South East Asia trip time depends on the pass you take you can do it in 10 days or 3 weeks or even longer if you need. Starting in Bangkok, you can travel to Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, enjoying a free day in Chiang Mai, before meeting Xtreme Gap crew private boat in Huay Xai, Laos. A superb combination with any of our Thailand programs you can experience a whole different side to Asia.

Want more?

Make it a bigger trip!

By combining exciting programmes like the Xtreme Thailand Experience at the start and finishing with the Vietnam Experience you can turn these trip in to an epic adventure!

Add Vietnam!

Did you know you can add Vietnam to your itinerary with our South East Asia Xplorer? Check it out!
Vietnam is an assault on all the senses, breath in the amazing smell of the coffee plantations in Da Lat, Taste amazing Pho, see incredible locals at the Ban Ma Thout home stay, hear the incredible story of the Ho Chi Minh trail in Vin Moc and touch beautiful golden sand beaches and the finest silks in Hoi An.

Photos

Hop On Hop Off  Backpacking Passes In Laos, Cambodia and Thailand

Discover why people are starting to discover Laos as an incredible backpacking destination. From tubing in Vang Vieng, to the stunning Luang prabang, sublime water falls, national parks, epic scenery. Fair warning though, this will make you want to book your flight and leave immediately!

backpacking in south east asia (23)Minimum Trip Times

  • Mekong Pass – min 26 days
  • Full Moon Pass – min 18 days
  • Dtui Noy Pass – min 11 days
  • Tom Yum Pass – min 11 days
  • Tang Tai Pass – min 9 days

 

Mekong Pass

DEPARTS:

  • Wet Season / Jun – Oct,  TUESDAYS, SATURDAYS,
  • Dry Season / Nov – May  TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS, SATURDAYS

A comprehensive trip through northern Thailand, Laos and Cambodia with the option to end in Bangkok, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh or Ho Chi Minh City.
For travellers who have 4 weeks or more and want to see as much of these amazing countries as possible.

Experience the sights, sounds and smells of Bangkok, travel north via the amazing Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai, before meeting the  Bus at the Huay Xai border crossing in Laos.
Experience mountains and vibrant cultures in Northern Laos and amazing wilderness and wildlife in the South; follow narrow mountain roads to scenic rivers and waterfalls, hidden archaeological sites, communist caves and friendly remote villages.
Head into Cambodia to explore ancient temples, pagodas and palaces, snack on fried spiders or enjoy a local Khmer BBQ. Chill out in the beach sanctuary of Koh Tunsay, see the rare Irrawady Dolphins and visit the infamous Khmer Rouge S21 prison and killing fields. Cycle or trek the Bokor National Parks and get to know the locals in a remote village homestay.

backpacking in south east asia (15)Pass Highlights and Inclusions

  • Ayutthaya Temples
  • Pha Tok Cave
  • Pak Ou Cave
  • Tham Jang Cave
  • National Park Entry
  • Kong Lor Park Entry
  • Mahaxai Cave
  • Turtle Lake
  • Hotay Pitok Library
  • Tad Ngeuang
  • Wat Phu
  • S21 & Killing Fields
  • Udong
  • Bamboo Train

Mekong pass itinerary

Bangkok to Chiang Mai (Via Ayutthaya)

Your adventure kicks off 8am at the  Bangkok shop where you meet your guide and group. After a brief induction to how the pass works we depart for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ayutthaya. We arrive mid-morning, giving you plenty of time to explore the fascinating historical park by bike or enjoy a boat journey through the “Venice of the East”. We leave late evening to Chiang Mai.
Overnight train or bus (price included)
Non Travel Day: Arrival in Chiang Mai
We arrive into the train station between 8:00 11:00am. Chiang Mai is an amazing city with endless activity options. Some of our favourites are a tree top adventure with Flight of the Gibbon, trekking, rafting, and traditional cooking classes. For those looking for adrenalin try the down-hill mountain biking and traditional Muay Thai Boxing training! There’s also the famous night market, the Night Safari (Asia’s largest) and easy access to Pai village.
Guesthouse located near the historic, old quarter USD12-20
Non Travel Day: Chiang Mai

You have a full day to enjoy this historically rich city, or partake in one of the many adventure activities on offer. We suggest spending time to take in the ancient sights, including the old walled-city and the Tapae Gate, and some of the magnificent 300 Buddhist Temples.
Guesthouse located near the historic, old quarter USD12-20
Chiang Mai to Chiang Khong

Meet your group and guide at the Xtreme  preferred accommodation, before kicking off your Xtreme  journey. We leave at midday to visit the famous and intriguing White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), and then continue on to the border town of Chiang Khong to enjoy our last night in Thailand.
Guesthouse with views across the Mekong River USD20
Chiang Khong to Pakbeng

A short boat ride across the Mekong River whisks us away towards Huay Xai, Laos. This is where we clear customs before boarding the boat to Pakbeng. Sit back and soak up the incredible journey as the river winds through lush farmland, rugged mountains and jungle. You will spot water buffalo, mountain-side rice paddies, local fishermen, and kids splashing in the shallows. We arrive in the remote village of Pakbeng late afternoon and stay overnight by the river.
Guesthouse near boat ramp USD8 15
Pakbeng to Ban Lad Khammune (homestay)

Leaving Pakbeng early, we continue our journey down the Mekong to the secluded village of Ban Lad Khammune. Here you will experience traditional village life by staying with a local family in their home. Attend a Baci (welcoming) Ceremony and have a chance to wander around the village, watch the women weaving or try your luck in a friendly game of petanque in the square!
Homestay including accommodation, traditional Baci ceremony and meals USD $17
Ban Lad Khammune (homestay) to Luang Prabang

We wave goodbye to the village and jump back aboard our private boat downriver to the famous Pak Ou Caves. Here you will see thousands of Buddha images that were placed throughout the caves over a period of hundreds of years. A short trip takes us into the stunningly beautiful Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage town with a fusion of French colonial architecture and traditional Lao buildings. This is home to the famous Kuang Si waterfalls, a bear sanctuary, ancient Buddhist temples and many sacred sites.
Guesthouse with fan or AC private rooms close to night market USD12-40
Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng

It´s an early start as we head south through mountainous terrain, taking in the breathtaking views. Upon arrival into Vang Vieng there is plenty of time to go tubing, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, hot air ballooning, start partying or even kick back and watch re-runs of old TV shows playing at the bars around town!
Family run guesthouse in the centre of the action USD8-30
Vang Vieng to Vientiane

Today we cruise through to the capital of Laos and take a tour of the city´s main attractions: Putaxai, Pha That Luang, That Dam, the Presidential Palace, and the COPE centre a non-profit organisation that educates visitors and raises awareness for victims of UXO (Unexploded Ordinance) and the Secret War. After check in at our centrally located accommodation, you are free to get a massage, go shopping at the night market, or watch the action from one of the local restaurants by the river.
Hotel with modern facilities including WIFI and breakfast USD20
Vientiane to Kong Lor (7 Km Cave)

An early escape this morning takes us away from the crowds and south to Kong Lor, and the Phu Hin Bun National Park. About an hour into the journey we visit Wat Prabat Phonsone, the “Buddha´s Footprint” temple, which has become an important pilgrimage site for local communities. There is time before sunset to explore the Kong Lor village and take in the stunning scenery of the surrounding rice paddies and limestone Karst Mountains.
Comfortable guesthouse with spectacular views and just a short 10 minute walk from the cave USD10
Non Travel Day: Kong Lor (7 Km Cave)

This morning you´re free to head down to the Cave (or Tham Kong Lor to the locals) and venture deep into the 7km abyss! Ride in a traditional motorised canoe and take in the amazing rock formations, swim in the cool waters of the cave entrance. There may also be the option to travel to Ban Tabak village, to take a ride in a ‘bomb boat´ made from the metal fuel casings of B52 bombers, dumped on Laos during the Secret War (this is subject to availability on the day).
Comfortable guesthouse with spectacular views of the Karst Mountains and just a short 10 minute walk from the cave USD10
Kong Lor (7 Km Cave) to Thakek

Today is a short travel day and includes a stop to view the “Great Wall of Tha Kek” before heading into town to check into our hotel on the banks of the Mekong River. This afternoon we´ll head out of town towards the Khammouane Protected Area, home to the Mahaxai Caves scattered amongst rugged limestone cliffs and pristine jungle scenery. We will stop at Tha Farang for an afternoon swim before returning to town to relax and enjoy a sunset over the Mekong River.
Mekong riverside Guesthouse USD12

Thakek to Xe Champhone (village stay)

This is what Xtreme is all about, getting totally off the beaten track! We head into Xe Champhone wetlands – an area so remote that occasionally our  buses can’t access it, so we have to jump on board an off-road truck! Along the way we visit Old Wat Taleow, a beautiful temple bombed in 1969, then onto Turtle Lake where you might spot soft-shell turtles. Our last stop for the day is the 200-year-old Hotay Pidok Buddhist library. Once here we spend the night with the friendly locals in the Monkey forest, a sacred place and home to hundreds of wild Rhesus Macaque monkeys.
Basic village stay including accommodation and meals USD17
Xe Champhone to Pakse

Driving south this morning we head for the bright lights of Pakse. From here, you can check out the Bolaven Plateau with its cool climate, coffee and tea plantations, and spectacular waterfalls. Paske is a great place to hop off the bus and experience the unforgettable Tree Top Explorer adventure. This an amazing experience that includes trekking though jungle, tree house accommodation, wildlife, thundering waterfalls, and a zip- line system that will have you flying through the tree-tops and across ravines.
Guesthouse with fan or air-conditioned rooms in the centre of town surrounded by everything you need USD8-10
Pakse to Don Det (4000 Islands)

An early start takes us to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer temple. We´ll explore the site and climb to the mountain top temple, before heading south to the 4000 Islands area to experience its laidback lifestyle and natural beauty. We arrive around lunchtime giving you time to cycle across to the neighbouring Don Khone Island and visit Li Phi waterfall or take a boat trip for a chance to see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins.
Rustic style guesthouse USD5-15
Don Det to Phnom Penh

Saying goodbye to Laos, we make an early start to join the public bus for the journey to Cambodia. A short drive will bring you to the Don Kralor Border where you will complete immigration procedures, then continue the journey into Cambodia, once again following the mighty Mekong River. We arrive in the majestic capital of Phnom Penh late evening, and you´ll get a chance to freshen up before meeting your new tour leader for dinner and drinks along the iconic waterfront.
Guesthouse near the main tourist area USD20
Phnom Penh to Koh Tunsay (Rabbit Island)

After a tour of the infamous Khmer Rouge S21 Prison and Killing Fields we head for the Cambodian coast, passing through the river town of Kampot. Kampot is famous for its pepper and salt farms and delicious seafood – your local guide will show you the best spot to taste some! From Kampot we head to the old French resort town of Kep where we board traditional Khmer wooden fishing boats for a 30 minute voyage to the island sanctuary of Koh Tunsay. Once on shore you can check out the island or just relax on the beach, and watch the sun go down.
Bungalows on the beach (sleep 4 people) USD25 per bungalow
Koh Tunsay (Rabbit Island) to Kampot

Tearing ourselves away from the beach, a short drive takes us back to the town of Kampot where you will have a free afternoon to visit the pepper and salt Farms, do some cycling or trekking in Bokor National Park or take a sunset cruise up the river.
Highly Recommended: Hop off here to head to Sihanoukville to enjoy the beach; local seafood and nightlife!
Guesthouse with dorm beds or private rooms USD6-15
Kampot to Battambang (homestay)

A full day today will take us to our village homestay near the provincial town of Battambang. En-route we will visit the 18th Century Khmer stronghold of Udong, where you can hike to the mountain top pagoda or relax in a hammock and enjoy a local Khmer BBQ! We pass through Kompong Chhnang (pronounced kom pong ch nang) with its bustling local market and floating villages along the river and delta area. Our homestay tonight will give you a taste of local family and community life in the village with its seasonal farming, fishing, temple gatherings and festivals.
Homestay in local village including meals USD18
Battambang to Siem Reap

After breakfast with our homestay family we drive into Battambang where we will take a ride on the Bamboo Train before an early lunch and drive to Siem Reap home of the incredible Angkor Temples. We recommend a free day to explore the magnificent Angkor Temples and take in some of Siem Reap´s vibrant markets and nightlife. Your guide will show you the best one to head to first!
Guesthouse with dorm beds or private rooms USD8-20
Non Travel Day: Siem Reap

Today is a free day for you to explore the magnificent Angkor Temples and take in some of Siem Reap´s vibrant markets and nightlife. Your guide will show you the best ones to head to first!
Guesthouse with dorm beds or private rooms USD8-20
Siem Reap to Bangkok or HCMC (via Phnom Penh)
If you are traveling to Bangkok you will be driven to the border town of Poipet. Here you will process through Thai immigration and change buses for the drive to Bangkok, arriving in the evening. Alternatively if you are travelling to HCMC you´ll board the bus from Phnom Penh and head to Moc Bai on the Vietnamese border, where you will be processed through immigration (you will need to organise your Visa in advance) and then driven on to Ho Chi Minh City arriving mid-afternoon.

 

Fullmoon Pass

backpacking in south east asia (21)Pass Highlights and Inclusions

  • Ayutthaya Temples
  • Pha Tok Cave
  • Pak Ou Cave
  • Tham Jang Cave
  • National Park Entry
  • Kong Lor Park Entry
  • Mahaxai Cave
  • Turtle Lake
  • Hotay Pitok Library
  • Tad Ngeuang
  • Wat Phu

DEPARTS:

  • Wet Season / Jun – Oct:  TUESDAY, SATURDAYS
  • Dry Season / Nov – May  TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS, SATURDAYS

A comprehensive trip through Northern Thailand and Laos, for those travellers who have two and a half weeks or more. By joining us in Bangkok, you can travel to Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, enjoying a free day in Chiang Mai, before meeting the  bus in Luang Prabang, Laos. Experience Laos from the mountains and vibrant cultures in the north to the islands and Mekong falls in the south. Return to Bangkok via local bus or train from Pakse to Ubon Ratchathani and train from there. We will get you closer to the action the whole way.

Bangkok to Chiang Mai (Via Ayutthaya)

Your adventure kicks off 8am at the  Bangkok shop where you meet your  guide and group. After a brief induction to how it works we depart for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ayutthaya. We arrive mid-morning, giving you plenty of time to explore the fascinating historical park by bike or enjoy a boat journey through the “Venice of the East”. We leave late evening to Chiang Mai.

Overnight train or bus (price included)

Non Travel Day: Arrival in Chiang Mai
We arrive into the train station between 8:00 11:00am. Chiang Mai is an amazing city with endless activity options. Some of our favourites are a tree top adventure with Flight of the Gibbon, trekking, rafting, and traditional cooking classes. For those looking for adrenalin try the down-hill mountain biking and traditional Muay Thai Boxing training! There’s also the famous night market, the Night Safari (Asia’s largest) and easy access to Pai village.
Guesthouse located near the historic, old quarter USD12-20

Non Travel Day: Chiang Mai
You have a full day to enjoy this historically rich city, or partake in one of the many adventure activities on offer. We suggest spending time to take in the ancient sights, including the old walled-city and the Tapae Gate, and some of the magnificent 300 Buddhist Temples.
Guesthouse located near the historic, old quarter USD12-20

Chiang Mai to Chiang Khong
After a chilled out morning, we depart after lunch and visit the famous and intriguing White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), then continue on to the border town of Chiang Khong to enjoy our last night in Thailand.
Guesthouse with views across the Mekong River USD20

Chiang Khong to Pakbeng
A short boat ride across the Mekong River whisks us away towards Huay Xai, Laos. This is where we clear customs before boarding the boat to Pakbeng. Sit back and soak up the incredible journey as the river winds through lush farmland, rugged mountains and jungle. You will spot water buffalo, mountain-side rice paddies, local fishermen, and kids splashing in the shallows. We arrive in the remote village of Pakbeng late afternoon and stay overnight by the river.
Guesthouse near boat ramp USD8 15

Pakbeng to Ban Lad Khammune
Leaving Pakbeng early, we continue our journey down the Mekong to the secluded village of Ban Lad Khammune. Here you will experience traditional village life by staying with a local family in their home. Attend a Baci (welcoming) Ceremony and have a chance to wander around the village, watch the women weaving or try your luck in a friendly game of petanque in the square!
Homestay including accommodation, traditional Baci ceremony and meals USD17

Ban Lad Khamoune to Luang Prabang
Our boat journey this morning takes us to the Pak Ou Caves where you will see thousands of Buddha images placed in the caves over hundreds of years. From the caves we have a short trip to Luang Prabang, arriving around midday into this world heritage town with French colonial architecture, temples and sacred sites.
Accommodation: Guesthouse with fan or AC private rooms clost to night market $12-40

Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng
It´s an early start as we head south through mountainous terrain, taking in the breathtaking views. Upon arrival into Vang Vieng there is plenty of time to go tubing, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, hot air ballooning, start partying or even kick back and watch re-runs of old TV shows playing at the bars around town!
Family run guesthouse in the centre of the action USD8-30

Vang Vieng to Vientiane
Today we cruise through to the capital of Laos and take a tour of the city´s main attractions: Putaxai, Pha That Luang, That Dam, the Presidential Palace, and the COPE centre a non-profit organisation that educates visitors and raises awareness for victims of UXO (Unexploded Ordinance) and the Secret War. After check in at our centrally located accommodation, you are free to get a massage, go shopping at the night market, or watch the action from one of the local restaurants by the river.
Hotel with modern facilities including WIFI and breakfast USD20

Vientiane to Kong Lor (7km Cave)

A comprehensive trip through Northern Thailand and Laos, for those travellers who have two and a half weeks or more. By joining us in Bangkok, you can travel to Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, enjoying a free day in Chiang Mai, before meeting the  bus in Luang Prabang, Laos. Experience Laos from the mountains and vibrant cultures in the north to the islands and Mekong falls in the south. Return to Bangkok via local bus or train from Pakse to Ubon Ratchathani and train from there. We will get you closer to the action the whole way.

This morning you´re free to head down to the Cave (or Tham Kong Lor to the locals) and venture deep into the 7 km abyss! Ride in a traditional motorised canoe and take in the amazing rock formations, swim in the cool waters of the cave entrance. You also have the chance to travel to Ban Tabak village and take a ride in a ‘bomb boat’! These are made from the metal fuel casings of B52 bombers, dumped on Laos during the Secret War.
Comfortable guesthouse with spectacular views of the Karst Mountains and just a short 10 minute walk from the cave USD10

Kong Lor (7 Km Cave) to Thakek

Today is a short travel day, which includes a stop to view the “Great Wall of Thakek” before heading onto Pha Tam Kam, home of some of Southeast Asia´s best rock climbing and amazing lush, jungle scenery. For the adventurous crowd, there is the option to try out slack-lining or rock climbing, before heading back into town.
Mekong riverside Guesthouse USD12

Thakek to Xe Champhone (village stay)

This is what we are all about, getting totally off the beaten track! We head into Xe Champhone wetlands – an area so remote that occasionally our  buses can’t access it, so we have to jump on board an off-road truck! Along the way we visit Old Wat Taleow, a beautiful temple bombed in 1969, then onto Turtle Lake where you might spot soft-shell turtles. Our last stop for the day is the 200-year-old Hotay Pidok Buddhist library. Once here we spend the night with the friendly locals in the Monkey forest, a sacred place and home to hundreds of wild Rhesus Macaque monkeys.
Basic village stay including accommodation and meals USD17

Xe Champhone to Pakse

Driving south this morning we head for the bright lights of Pakse. From here, you can check out the Bolaven Plateau with its cool climate, coffee and tea plantations, and spectacular waterfalls. Paske is a great place to hop off the bus and experience the unforgettable Tree Top Explorer adventure. This an amazing experience that includes trekking though jungle, tree house accommodation, wildlife, thundering waterfalls, and a zip- line system that will have you flying through the tree-tops and across ravines.
Guesthouse with fan or air-conditioned rooms in the centre of town surrounded by everything you need USD8-10

Pakse to Don Det (4000 Islands)

An early start takes us to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer temple. We´ll explore the site and climb to the mountain top temple, before heading south to the 4000 Islands area to experience its laidback lifestyle and natural beauty. We arrive around lunchtime giving you time to cycle across to the neighbouring Don Khone Island and visit Li Phi waterfall or take a boat trip for a chance to see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins.
Rustic style guesthouse USD5-15

Don Det to Bangkok

We leave Don Det early by local mini-van towards Pakse and then on to the Thai border and Ubon Ratchathani, where you board the overnight bus. Your bus journey finishes when you arrive in Bangkok early the next morning.

 

Full moon pass

Dtui Noy Pass

DEPARTS:

  • Wet Season / Jun – Oct,  TUESDAYS, SATURDAYS,
  • Dry Season / Nov – May  TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS, SATURDAYS

Finishes Pakse (for Thailand) or Don Det (for Cambodia)

A comprehensive trip through Laos, for those travellers who have 2 weeks of more. Meet your  guide and group and head on the slow boat to Luang Prabang and experience Laos from the mountains, ethnic cultures and monastic traditions in the north to the natural beauty and laid-back lifestyle of the south. Hop off the  bus in 4000 Islands and continue on your own to Cambodia. Or hop off the  bus in Pakse and take a local bus to Ubon Ratchathani in eastern Thailand, where connections to trains, buses or planes are available to other Thai destinations.   You’ll want to hop-off and explore… the waterfalls, caves and jungles of Laos, and chill out on the idyllic island of Don Det)

Pass Highlights and Inclusions

  • Pha Tok Cave
  • Pak Ou Cave
  • Tham Jang Cave
  • National Park Entry
  • Kong Lor Park Entry
  • Mahaxai Cave
  • Turtle Lake
  • Hotay Pitok Library
  • Tad Ngeuang
  • Wat Phou

 

Dtui Noy pass itinerary

Chiang Khong to Pakbeng

A short boat ride across the Mekong River whisks us away towards Huay Xai, Laos. This is where we clear customs before boarding the boat to Pakbeng. Sit back and soak up the incredible journey as the river winds through lush farmland, rugged mountains and jungle. You will spot water buffalo, mountain-side rice paddies, local fishermen, and kids splashing in the shallows. We arrive in the remote village of Pakbeng late afternoon and stay overnight by the river.Guesthouse near boat ramp USD8 15

Pakbeng to Ban Lad Khammune (homestay)

Leaving Pakbeng early, we continue our journey down the Mekong to the secluded village of Ban Lad Khammune. Here you will experience traditional village life by staying with a local family in their home. Attend a Baci (welcoming) Ceremony and have a chance to wander around the village, watch the women weaving or try your luck in a friendly game of petanque in the square! Homestay including accommodation, traditional Baci ceremony and meals USD $17

Ban Lad Khammune (homestay) to Luang Prabang

We wave goodbye to the village and jump back aboard our private boat downriver to the famous Pak Ou Caves. Here you will see thousands of Buddha images that were placed throughout the caves over a period of hundreds of years. A short trip takes us into the stunningly beautiful Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage town with a fusion of French colonial architecture and traditional Lao buildings. This is home to the famous Kuang Si waterfalls, a bear sanctuary, ancient Buddhist temples and many sacred sites.
Guesthouse with fan or AC private rooms close to night market USD12-40

Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng

It´s an early start as we head south through mountainous terrain, taking in the breathtaking views. Upon arrival into Vang Vieng there is plenty of time to go tubing, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, hot air ballooning, start partying or even kick back and watch re-runs of old TV shows playing at the bars around town!
Family run guesthouse in the centre of the action USD8-30

Vang Vieng to Vientiane

Today we cruise through to the capital of Laos and take a tour of the city´s main attractions: Putaxai, Pha That Luang, That Dam, the Presidential Palace, and the COPE centre a non-profit organisation that educates visitors and raises awareness for victims of UXO (Unexploded Ordinance) and the Secret War. After check in at our centrally located accommodation, you are free to get a massage, go shopping at the night market, or watch the action from one of the local restaurants by the river.

Hotel with modern facilities including WIFI and breakfast USD20

Vientiane to Kong Lor (7 Km Cave)

An early escape this morning takes us away from the crowds and south to Kong Lor, and the Phu Hin Bun National Park. About an hour into the journey we visit Wat Prabat Phonsone, the “Buddha´s Footprint” temple, which has become an important pilgrimage site for local communities. There is time before sunset to explore the Kong Lor village and take in the stunning scenery of the surrounding rice paddies and limestone Karst Mountains.
Comfortable guesthouse with spectacular views and just a short 10 minute walk from the cave USD10

Non Travel Day: Kong Lor (7 Km Cave)

This morning you´re free to head down to the Cave (or Tham Kong Lor to the locals) and venture deep into the 7 km abyss! Ride in a traditional motorised canoe and take in the amazing rock formations, swim in the cool waters of the cave entrance. You also have the chance to travel to Ban Tabak village and take a ride in a ‘bomb boat’! These are made from the metal fuel casings of B52 bombers, dumped on Laos during the Secret War.
Comfortable guesthouse with spectacular views of the Karst Mountains and just a short 10 minute walk from the cave USD10

Kong Lor (7 Km Cave) to Thakek

Today is a short travel day, which includes a stop to view the “Great Wall of Thakek” before heading onto Pha Tam Kam, home of some of Southeast Asia´s best rock climbing and amazing lush, jungle scenery. For the adventurous crowd, there is the option to try out slack-lining or rock climbing, before heading back into town.
Mekong riverside Guesthouse USD12

Thakek to Xe Champhone (village stay)

This is what we are all about, getting totally off the beaten track! We head into Xe Champhone wetlands – an area so remote that occasionally our  buses can’t access it, so we have to jump on board an off-road truck! Along the way we visit Old Wat Taleow, a beautiful temple bombed in 1969, then onto Turtle Lake where you might spot soft-shell turtles. Our last stop for the day is the 200-year-old Hotay Pidok Buddhist library. Once here we spend the night with the friendly locals in the Monkey forest, a sacred place and home to hundreds of wild Rhesus Macaque monkeys.
Basic village stay including accommodation and meals USD17

Xe Champhone to Pakse

Driving south this morning we head for the bright lights of Pakse. From here, you can check out the Bolaven Plateau with its cool climate, coffee and tea plantations, and spectacular waterfalls. Paske is a great place to hop off the bus and experience the unforgettable Tree Top Explorer adventure. This an amazing experience that includes trekking though jungle, tree house accommodation, wildlife, thundering waterfalls, and a zip- line system that will have you flying through the tree-tops and across ravines.
Guesthouse with fan or air-conditioned rooms in the centre of town surrounded by everything you need USD8-10

Pakse to Don Det (4000 Islands)

An early start takes us to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer temple. We´ll explore the site and climb to the mountain top temple, before heading south to the 4000 Islands area to experience its laidback lifestyle and natural beauty. We arrive around lunchtime giving you time to cycle across to the neighbouring Don Khone Island and visit Li Phi waterfall or take a boat trip for a chance to see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins. Rustic style guesthouse USD5-15

 

Tom Yum Pass

backpacking in south east asia (4)Pass Highlights and Inclusions

  • Ayutthaya Temples
  • Pha Tok Cave
  • Pak Ou Cave
  • Tham Jang Cave

DEPARTS:  

  • Wet Season / Jun – Oct  TUESDAY, SATURDAYS
  • Dry Season / Nov – May  TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS, SATURDAYS

A comprehensive trip through Northern Thailand and Northern Laos for those with 10 days or more. Start in Bangkok, visit the ancient capitals of Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai enroute to the northern Laos. Once in Laos, join the  bus and encounter the magic of the northern provinces; Luang Namtha, trekking central (dry season); Pak Beng and Ban Lad Khammune riverside villages (wet season); Luang Prabang remote river villages and the monastic capital of the same name; Vang Vieng with its tubing and night life, and Vientiane, the country´s capital. Hop off the  bus in Vientiane for the overnight train or bus back to Bangkok.

Bangkok to Chiang Mai (Via Ayutthaya)
Your adventure kicks off 8am at the  Bangkok shop where you meet your  guide and group. After a brief induction to how it  works we depart for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ayutthaya. We arrive mid-morning, giving you plenty of time to explore the fascinating historical park by bike or enjoy a boat journey through the “Venice of the East”. We leave late evening to Chiang Mai.
Overnight train or bus (price included)

Non Travel Day: Arrival in Chiang Mai
We arrive into the train station between 8:00 11:00am. Chiang Mai is an amazing city with endless activity options. Some of our favourites are a tree top adventure with Flight of the Gibbon, trekking, rafting, and traditional cooking classes. For those looking for adrenalin try the down-hill mountain biking and traditional Muay Thai Boxing training! There’s also the famous night market, the Night Safari (Asia’s largest) and easy access to Pai village.
Guesthouse located near the historic, old quarter USD12-20

Non Travel Day: Chiang Mai
You have a full day to enjoy this historically rich city, or partake in one of the many adventure activities on offer. We suggest spending time to take in the ancient sights, including the old walled-city and the Tapae Gate, and some of the magnificent 300 Buddhist Temples.
Guesthouse located near the historic, old quarter USD12-20

Chiang Mai to Chiang Khong
After a chilled out morning, we depart after lunch and visit the famous and intriguing White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), then continue on to the border town of Chiang Khong to enjoy our last night in Thailand.
Guesthouse with views across the Mekong River USD20

Chiang Khong to Pakbeng
A short boat ride across the Mekong River whisks us away towards Huay Xai, Laos. This is where we clear customs before boarding the boat to Pakbeng. Sit back and soak up the incredible journey as the river winds through lush farmland, rugged mountains and jungle. You will spot water buffalo, mountain-side rice paddies, local fishermen, and kids splashing in the shallows. We arrive in the remote village of Pakbeng late afternoon and stay overnight by the river.
Guesthouse near boat ramp USD8 15

Pakbeng to Ban Lad Khammune
Leaving Pakbeng early, we continue our journey down the Mekong to the secluded village of Ban Lad Khammune. Here you will experience traditional village life by staying with a local family in their home. Attend a Baci (welcoming) Ceremony and have a chance to wander around the village, watch the women weaving or try your luck in a friendly game of petanque in the square!
Homestay including accommodation, traditional Baci ceremony and meals USD17

Ban Lad Khamoune to Luang Prabang
Our boat journey this morning takes us to the Pak Ou Caves where you will see thousands of Buddha images placed in the caves over hundreds of years. From the caves we have a short trip to Luang Prabang, arriving around midday into this world heritage town with French colonial architecture, temples and sacred sites.
Accommodation: Guesthouse with fan or AC private rooms clost to night market $12-40

Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng
It´s an early start as we head south through mountainous terrain, taking in the breathtaking views. Upon arrival into Vang Vieng there is plenty of time to go tubing, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, hot air ballooning, start partying or even kick back and watch re-runs of old TV shows playing at the bars around town!
Family run guesthouse in the centre of the action USD8-30

Vang Vieng to Vientiane
Today we cruise through to the capital of Laos and take a tour of the city´s main attractions: Putaxai, Pha That Luang, That Dam, the Presidential Palace, and the COPE centre a non-profit organisation that educates visitors and raises awareness for victims of UXO (Unexploded Ordinance) and the Secret War. After check in at our centrally located accommodation, you are free to get a massage, go shopping at the night market, or watch the action from one of the local restaurants by the river.
Hotel with modern facilities including WIFI and breakfast USD20

Vientiane to Bangkok
You´ll be collected from your guesthouse in Vientiane mid-afternoon and be taken by tuk tuk to Thanaleng Train Station. Here you clear Lao customs, pay your departure fee then board a connecting train which takes you over the Friendship Bridge to Nong Khai in Thailand. You complete Thai Immigration at the train station and have time for a meal or drink across the road before boarding the overnight train to Bangkok where your  adventure will end: until next time.

 

The Tang Tai Pass

backpacking in south east asia (19)Pass Highlights and Inclusions

  • National Park Entry
  • Kong Lor Park Entry
  • Mahaxai Cave
  • Turtle Lake
  • Hotay Pitok Library
  • Tad Ngeuang
  • Wat Phu

A comprehensive trip through southern Laos, for those with 9 days or more. Take your VIP bus directly from Bangkok to Vientiane, where you meet the mighty  bus. From Vientiane travel south experiencing National Protected Areas, underground rivers through caves, soaring karst mountains, majestic lakes, 100 foot waterfalls, fertile plateaus, ancient Khmer ruins and the magical Mekong Islands. This is a trip for nature lovers and those who appreciate a laid-back lifestyle.
You’ll want to hop off and explore… the jungles of Laos and chill out on the idyllic island of Don Det!

Bangkok to Vientiane

Head to the  office in Bangkok in the early evening to collect your ticket and information on where to meet the group in Laos. Then catch a comfortable overnight VIP bus from Khao San Road to Nong Khai. In the morning you will cross over the Friendship Bridge to Vientiane and connect with a local bus that will bring you into the city.
Hotel with modern facilities including WIFI and breakfast $20

Vientiane to Tad Leuk

We give you the morning to explore the capital city and the stalls along the banks of the Mekong, get some cash out and buy some comfort food before we head off the beaten track again and into the Phou Khao Khouay NPA. Before heading out of town, we stop to visit the COPE centre, which educates and raises awareness of the victims of UXO (Unexploded Ordinance). After stopping at local markets for supplies, we drive to Tad Leuk, where we camp between the waterfall and jungle and have the opportunity to swim, trek and maybe spot the rare Phu Wah Rock Lizard found in only 3 places in the world (Tad Leuk is 1 of them and the other 2 are within 100 metres), as well as other wildlife like monkeys, snakes and rare butterflies that roam this rich national protected area.
Tents with mats $8 includes camping equipment and national park fee.

Tad Leuk to Kong Lor (7km Cave)

An early departure means we arrive in Kong Lor in time to check into our guesthouse before heading down to the Cave (or Tham Kong Lor to the locals). We head into the abyss of the 7km cave cruising in a traditional motorised canoe to see amazing rock formations. This evening we chill out at our friendly guesthouse – with great views, great food and great company
Comfortable guesthouse with spectacular views of the Karst Mountains and just a short 10 minute walk from the cave $10

Kong Lor to Tha Kek
Today is a short travel day, which includes a stop to view the “Great Wall of Tha Kek” before heading onto Pha Tam Kam, home of some of Southeast Asia´s best rock climbing and amazing lush, jungle scenery. For the adventurous crowd, there is the option to try out slack-lining or rock climbing, before heading back into town.
Mekong riverside Guesthouse USD12

Tha Kek to Xe Champhone
This is what we are all about, getting totally off the beaten track! We head into Xe Champhone wetlands – an area so remote that occasionally our  buses can’t access it, so we have to jump on board an off-road truck! Along the way we visit Old Wat Taleow, a beautiful temple bombed in 1969, then onto Turtle Lake where you might spot soft-shell turtles. Our last stop for the day is the 200-year-old Hotay Pidok Buddhist library. Once here we spend the night with the friendly locals in the Monkey forest, a sacred place and home to hundreds of wild Rhesus Macaque monkeys.
Basic village stay including accommodation and meals USD17

Xe Champhone to Pakse
Driving south this morning we head for the bright lights of Pakse. From here, you can check out the Bolaven Plateau with its cool climate, coffee and tea plantations, and spectacular waterfalls.
Guesthouse with fan or air-conditioned rooms in the centre of town surrounded by everything you need USD8-10

Pakse to Don Det (4000 Islands)
An early start takes us to the World Heritage site of Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer temple. We´ll explore the site and climb to the mountain top temple, before heading south to the 4000 Islands area to experience its laidback lifestyle and natural beauty. We arrive around lunchtime giving you time to cycle across to the neighbouring Don Khone Island and visit Li Phi waterfall or take a boat trip for a chance to see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins.
Rustic style guesthouse USD5-15

Don Det to Bangkok (via Pakse)
We leave Don Det early by local mini-van towards Pakse and then on to the Thai border and Ubon Ratchathani, where you board the overnight bus. Your  journey finishes when you arrive in Bangkok early the next morning.

With our partners , you travel on trains, buses, longboats and tuk tuks up Thailand and around Laos and see the parts most people miss!

Connect from Thailand on trains and traverse Laos from north to south, or choose a section that appeals to you.

  • Jump-on’ and ‘jump-off’ the bus anywhere that you want along the way around our comprehensive route.
  • Go further off the beaten track for unique down-to-earth stops, local culture and amazing activities.
  • We have an extensive range of Thailand – Laos travel passes for all time frames.
  • Your pass is valid for 12 months so take your time to explore!
  • Travel with like-minded people, our legendary guides and local drivers
  • We can organise guest houses, hostels, budget hotels, ecolodges and camping accommodation options enroute.

 

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

Accommodation

Actually there is none with this trip! The passes do not include accommodation because you can choose how long you want to stay in one place and where. If you want the tour leaders to book you a bed, it is no problem, you can do it on the bus as you travel. This way we make it easy for you and you do not have to look around in the hot sun to check out accommodation options and haggle on prices.

Light clothes for the wet season (May Oct) and something warm for the dry season (Nov Mar), especially for the north of Laos and Thailand; a good travel medical kit supplied by a doctor (for any inconveniences, dietary or otherwise); your travel insurance details; sunscreen; bug repellent (at least 30% deet content); girls – a sarong for swimming in remote areas, Lao culture requires modesty; a poncho or light raincoat (it can rain even in the dry season in the north), shoes/trainers for walking and a good sense of adventure!
The best (and easiest) way to carry gear around Laos is in a sturdy backpack. You can bring a suitcase with wheels but you may find yourself dragging it down a dirt track! Bring a smaller day pack so you can carry bug repellent, a camera, sunscreen and water.
things may change depending on the group, driver, season and local conditions. On our bus routes you can break your journey and spend longer anywhere along the way.
We pick up from selected locations in each town (specific accommodation places and our offices). You need to advise us before 5pm the day before you want to depart where you want to be picked up. Please login to your bookings to confirm your departure time and place. Please note we do not visit all departure points every day, only if we have confirmed pickups, so please ensure you let us know where you will be waiting.
Western food is sparse outside the main centres of Laos so be prepared and open minded about eating local food. At our stops we recommend tasty restaurants but when you get into local villages and home stays be prepared to eat simple local fare, with maybe the odd wildcard ingredient (which is part of the fun). Supermarkets are not the norm but we will point out places where you can stock up on food for the day. Please note vegetarian meal options are not always available but excellent fruit and vegetables are plentiful at the local markets.
Duration Option Price  
13 (Days)Tang TaiUSD 555Book Now
16 (Days)Tom YumUSD 680Book Now
17 (Days)Dtui NoiUSD 755Book Now
26 (Days)Full MoonUSD 1060Book Now
32 (Days)Mekong PassUSD 1575Book Now

Pricing Feedback

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Book 16 or more weeks up front to secure these deals.
Duration Option Price
16 (Days)Tom YumUSD 680 USD 666 (Early Bird)
Enquire here
26 (Days)Full MoonUSD 1060 USD 1039 (Early Bird)
Enquire here
32 (Days)Mekong PassUSD 1575 USD 1544 (Early Bird)
Enquire here

Book today with a deposit and travel after 16 - Aug - 2017 to lock in the early bird price. "Hurry only limited early bird spots available !"

Terms: $250 USD deposit required on booking. Full payment 12 weeks prior to trip start.

Included

  • Pre departure information
  • Pick up at different locations in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia
  • Reservations for extra tours and accommodation will be made by the guide
  • Flexible hop on hop off Tour Pass
  • All Transportation
  • Services of the Tour Leader

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Activities

A guide to inclusions

So what’s included in your backpacker bus pass? The following inclusions listed below explain many of the activities involved on most of these passes. Please refer to the individual pass itinerary to see which inclusions are valid for that particular pass.

Thailand

Ayutthaya Temples The ancient former Thai capital of Ayutthaya was founded in the early 1300s and quickly became one of world´s largest trading ports. History tells of a lavish city, laden with golden palaces, huge monasteries and temples. The city was burnt almost to the ground in 1767 when the Burmese invaded, and today only a fraction of the impressive city remains. In 1991 the significant cultural value of this historic city´s ruins were recognised when it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Laos

  • Pha Tok Cave– The Pha Tok Caves were used by the Laos people as a secret stronghold and hideaway from the America bombings during the second Indochina War in the 1960s and 70s. The cave was accessed by a long bamboo ladder, of which the remains can still be seen today.
  • Pak Ou Cave – Located on the convergence of the Mekong and Ou Rivers north of Luang Prabang, Pak Ou Cave is an ancient pilgrimage site containing thousands of Buddha images placed there over hundreds of years.
  • Tham Jang Cave Tham Jang Cave is one of many limestone caves located near Vang Vieng in central Laos. The cave was used as a bunker during the war in the early 1900s and is now a popular sacred site for the locals. A crystal clear spring is located deep inside the cave, which is a popular swimming spot.
  • Tad Leuk Waterfall – Tad Leuk Waterfall is a popular but uncrowded swimming spot situated inside a national park. The picturesque flat, sandstone waterfall is surrounded by native flora and fauna and lots of bush walks.
  • Kong Lor Cave Situated underneath tall karst mountains, the 7 kilometre long Kong Lor Cave is lined with beautiful limestone stalic tights and stalic mights. Travel through the pitch black, windy cave by guided narrow boat using headlamps to see. The river is also popular for swimming in.
  • Mahaxai Caves – located 12kms west of the town of Thakek in southern Laos, Mahaxai is a complex of caves in the surrounding limestone mountains. This is also a popular mountain climbing region and eco tourism site.
  • Turtle Lake or Hong Dao – Located on the Xe Champhone Wetlands in south, central Laos is a large lake important in local mythology because of the many turtles that live in the lake. These turtles are considered sacred.
  • Hotay Pitok Library – located on the Xe Champhone wetlands is an old Buddhist Repository where thousands of Buddhist manuscripts written on reeds and bamboo are stored.
  • Tad Ngeuang – This waterfall is located on the Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos. It is one of the highest waterfalls in the region and you can take a refreshing swim in the pools.
  • Wat Phu – located in Champassak Province in southern Laos was the capital of the Khmer Empire before it was moved to Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
  • Vieng Thong Hot Springs – located in western Laos these natural hot springs are popular with the locals for the treatment of all sorts of ailments. You can take a bath with the locals or cook an egg in the boiling waters at the spring source.
  • Vieng Xai Caves – located in western Laos near the Vietnamese border this complex of caves was the stronghold and head quarters of the Phathet Lao during the Secret War during the 60’s and 70’s.
  • Plain of Jars – located around Phonsavanh in western Laos, these giant stone jars litter the countryside around the township. No one really knows their origin or use but there are a number of local legends shedding light on the story of the jars.

Cambodia

  • Preah Vihear – located on the Thai/Cambodia border in northern Cambodia, this ancient temple is a source of ongoing territorial disputes between the two countries. Located on the top of a mountain it has stunning views across both countries.
  • S21 & Killing Fields – these two sites located in and around Phnom Penh were used during the Khmer Rouge era to imprison, torture and kill anyone who was considered a threat to the regime. They have become a museum and shrine in modern day Cambodia.
  • Udong – located just northeast of Phnom Penh, ancient Udong was a Khmer stronghold when Cambodia was under siege from Thailand in the 16th century. Today it is a popular sacred site for the locals who come to make offerings at the mountain top pagodas and picnic at the hammock restaurant at the base of the mountain.
  • Bamboo Train – located outside Battambang in eastern Cambodia the bamboo train is what is left of the rail system built by the French and destroyed by the Khmer Rouge. Locals use it as simple form of transport between villages and tourists are welcome to take a ride.

Dates

Starts 2 times per week. Mostly Tuesday and Saturday.