Travel itinerary: North Thailand and Laos

Thai islands may be expensive but the north… North is different. As soon as you’ll move from Bangkok you’ll see different people, food and customs. And of course the prices are much lower, yes! Don’t expect places without tourists because this is still Thailand, but you will get some of freedom to explore the country in a different way. From Thailand you can move to Laos and see how big a difference can a couple of km make. It’s time to see some of the most beautiful places and villages in SE Asia, have a good meal and rest your eyes on beautiful views.

Travel itinerary: North Thailand and Laos

Duration: 22 days

  • Day 1: Arrive to Bangkok. Eat something, drink something and go to rest. You probably have a major jet lag 🙂
  • Day 2: Bangkok. Explore Bangkok and its many interesting sites.
  • Day 3: Night bus to Chiang Mai. Make yourself comfy and wake up in the north capital.
  • Day 4: Chiang Mai. Rent a bicycle and explore the lovely city. Don’t forget to eat everything you see. Just kidding 🙂 Almost everything.
  • Day 5: Chiang Mai. I hope it’s Sunday so you can walk around the walking street market and enjoy the stalls.
  • Day 6: Mae Salong. Walk around the village and have a cup of tea.
  • Day 7: Mae Salong. Trek around the traditional villages with different tribes.
  • Day 8: Chiang Rai. Visit the famous White temple and hope you have a blue sky (feb and march it’s the smoky season).
  • Day 9: Chiang Khong. Borders on Laos. Walk around and go to bed early.
  • Day 10: Luang Namtha. Cross the border and find a good deal for trekking.
  • Day 11: Luang Namtha. Trek in the forest and visit the traditional villages.
  • Day 12: Luang Namtha: One more day of trekking.
  • Day 13: Nong Khiaw. A spectacular sunset and then maybe traditional sauna.
  • Day 14: Muang Ngoy. Take pictures of the picturesque surroundings and find a cheap bungalow by the river.
  • Day 15: Muang Ngoy. Enjoy the day in this small cute village
  • Day 16: Muang Ngoy. Walk to the waterfall, nearby villages and have a lao-lao cocktail in the evening.
  • Day 17: Luang Prabang. Feast on avocado sandwiches and see a temple or two.
  • Day 18: Luang Prabang. Go to Kuang Si waterfalls for a day and enjoy the turquoise water.
  • Day 19: Vang Vieng. Tubing with other drunk tourists.
  • Day 20: Vientiane. Buy some Lao pieces and hop on a night train to Bangkok
  • Day 21: Bangkok. Last chance to buy souvenirs, eat good Thai food and do some crazy sh*t.
  • Day 22: Fly home from Bangkok.

Travel itinerary map

What to bring?

  • 35 l backpack and a smaller bag
  • 5 shirts, 3 shorts
  • 1 sweater, 1 pants
  • Flip flops and light walking shoes
  • Sleeping bag
  • Some travel medicine
  • Add what you need

Tips for traveling in north Thailand and Laos

It’s best to travel to north Thailand and Laos between high and low season. This is usually in April and March. Prices of accommodation, transport and food are 30 % lower.

Don’t book in advance. When you need a transportation, take a walk to the bus/train station and buy a ticket. If you stay in a guesthouse for several days, bargain for the price. Bring lots of cash with you so you don’t need to pay for the ATM fees.

It pays up if you travel in a pair. Partner, friend or someone random, you’ll both save up on rooms and a lot of times on transportation, too.

Expenses for your budget trip to north Thailand and Laos

  • Accommodation: 5,5 $ per day
  • Food: 6,5 $ per day
  • Transportation: 6,5 $ per day

All together: 18,5 $

Expenses before leaving

Visa for Thailand: Free
Visa for Laos: 35 $ (check visa prices)
Travel insurance: minimum 50 $ (depends on where you’re from)

Expenses: 447 $

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