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21-Day China, Laos, and Thailand Discovery

21-Day China, Laos, and Thailand Discovery

By LingUpdated Aug. 2, 2023
From Beijing to Luang Prabang and Bangkok: An Epic Journey across Asia

This itinerary is specially designed for those who would like to have an off-the-beaten track trip to Asia. It is recommended for a bucket list trip or a milestone celebration.

This 21-day adventure across China, Laos, and Thailand offers a perfect balance of cultural immersion and scenic exploration, taking you from the historical sites of Beijing and Luang Prabang to the tranquil beaches of Krabi, from hill tribe villages along the Mekong River to rescued elephants in the jungle.

  • Days:21±
  • Best For:couples, friends, families with adult children
  • Departure date:up to you
  • Sample price:from US$ 5,299 each (2 per room)*
  • Flights:SE Asia's included (international on request)

*The cost for a customized private SE Asia tour from US$200/person/day

China, Laos and Thailand Tour Map (Suggested Route)

China, Laos and Thailand Tour Map

Tour Highlights

Here are the awesome attractions, the most must-do activities selected by Asia Highlights (AH Hand-Picked), and exclusive cultural experiences offered by Asia Highlights (Only With AH) included in this tour:

Experience Asia's first cross-border high-speed train — China to Laos

china to laos high speed train

Listen to revealing stories of China's royal family in the Forbidden City.

the tag of only ah

Hike the prettiest Great Wall section to see both wild and restored ramparts.

Attend an early morning alms-offering ceremony in Luang Prabang.

the tag of ah hand picked

Enjoy a romantic sunset cruise dinner.

river sun laos dinner cruise
the tag of ah hand picked

Take a culture-filled Mekong river cruise from Laos to Thailand.

mekong river le grand cruise
the hill tribe village along mekong river

See the amazing temples of Chiang Rai.

basket boats on the river

Walk with elephants in wildlife-friendly Elephant Nature Park.

the peaceful Yangshuo countryside
the tag of ah hand picked

Learn how to cook traditional Thai dishes in Chiang Mai.

basket boats on the river

Relax in the less-crowded yet beautiful beach of Krabi.

krabi island

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Suggested Itinerary for Inspiration

Your preferences design the real journey. We're ready to create a wonderful China and Vietnam tour for you.

Day 1
Beijing Arrival, China

Upon arrival, your private guide and driver will greet you at the airport and then drive you to your hotel. The rest of the day will be free for you to explore at your leisure.

Day 2
Beijing City Highlights Tour with a Hutong Visit
  • Start your day from the historic Tian'anmen Square.
  • Explore the emperors' Forbidden City: get off the ordinary sightseeing route and listen to interesting stories of eight famous personalities that are not told by typical tour guides.
  • Walk into the Hutongs and discover the traditional Beijing lifestyle.
  • Enjoy an authentic Beijing roast duck dinner in a time-honored-brand restaurant.
 visit Hutong
beijing roast duck dinner
Day 3
Hike the Prettiest Great Wall at Jinshanling
  • Start at about 8am with a 2-hour drive to the Great Wall at Jinshanling.
  • Hike from Jinshanling to Simatai West (it takes about 3 hours). This section has breathtaking views and offers stunning photo opportunities that vary with the seasons.
  • See both the unrepaired ancient watchtowers and a restored section of the Wall during the hike.
  • After having a lunch at the foot of Jinshanling, your guide and driver will accompany you back to Beijing.
The Great Wall at Jinshanling
The Great Wall at Jinshanling
Day 4
The Summer Palace, Beijing to Shanghai by High-Speed Train
  • Drive to the most famous imperial garden in China — the Summer Palace. It is where emperors used to retreat to flee the summer heat. Take a boat ride on tranquil Kunming Lake in the heart of the vast garden.
  • After lunch at a local restaurant, take a high-speed train to Shanghai (about 5 hours).
  • Guide-accompanied hotel-station transfers in both Beijing and Shanghai are included.
the summer palace
The Summer Palace
Day 5
Explore the Charming City of Shanghai
  • Visit Yu Garden, an exquisite classical garden, hidden and well-preserved among the high buildings.
  • Walk along the Bund to learn about Shanghai's rise to super-size.
  • Wander through the backstreets to get a glimpse of Shanghainese lifestyles.
  • Be like a local as you hop on a public ferry among the crowds to cross the Huangpu River, traveling from old Shanghai to new Shanghai.
  • Take the fastest elevator in the world and ascend the second-highest building in the world — Shanghai Tower.
Pudong New Area
Ascend the Shanghai Tower
Day 6
Former French Concession Walking Tour, Fly from Shanghai to Kunming
  • In the morning, take an in-depth walking tour around the Former French Concession, which is the most charming and elegant area of Shanghai.
  • See Shanghainese morning exercise, which are quite difference from other places' in China. Peep at a super-rich residence community.
  • Walk into a shikumen building (a 19th-century townhouse) to see old Shanghai's crowded living conditions, and see new life in the old buildings brought by creative artists and local designers.
  • After the tour, transfer to Shanghai Airport for your onward flight to Kunming.
  • Guide-accompanied airport transfers in both Shanghai and Kunming are included.
The Former French Concession
The Former French Concession
Day 7
Kunming Essential Tour with the Stone Forest
  • Skipping the touristy part of the Stone Forest, you will visit the Naigu Stone Forest — the 'Ancient Black' Stone Forest. Climb to a high platform for a magnificent panoramic view and also take a little path threading the narrow space between the stones to witness the fantastic formations up close.
  • Have a relaxing walk on Kunming's Old Street; and try local snacks, including rice-noodle salad, deep-fried mushrooms, big sweet dumplings, and Lao-style milk tea.
The Naigu Stone Forest
yunnan rice noodles
Day 8
Kunming to Luang Prabang by Cross-Border High-Speed Train
  • As your China tour comes to its end, your private guide and driver will transfer you to Kunming South Railway Station for your onward train to Laos (about 8½ hours including a 3-hour stop going through exit and entry at the Mohan-Boten border crossing point.
  • Upon arrival in Luang Prabang, your new Laos private guide and driver will greet you at the railway station and transfer you to your hotel.
Cross-Border High-Speed Train
The Cross-Border High-Speed Train
Day 9
Luang Prabang City Tour with a Romantic Evening Sunset Cruise
  • Explore Luang Prabang's World Heritage sites, including famous Wat Xieng Thong temple.
  • Walk in the former Royal Palace — now a National Museum.
  • Visit a local market and Ock Pop Tok Living Crafts Centre.
  • Enjoy a dinner on a romantic sunset cruise while appreciating charming views of Luang Prabang.
The Wat Xieng Thong temple.
Day 10
Alms-Offering and Kuang Si Waterfall
  • In the early morning, take a boat ride to a local village to attend the morning alms-giving ceremony.
  • Enjoy a homemade breakfast in a local's house.
  • Travel through vibrant, green, tropical jungle to Kuang Si Waterfall.
  • Afterwards, visit the Bear Rescue Centre near the waterfall.
Kuang Si Waterfall
The Kuang Si Waterfall
Day 11
Mekong River Cruise: Luang Prabang to Pakbeng
  • Board the Le Grand Cruise at 7 A.M. at Luang Prabang pier.
  • Start the cruise with a continental breakfast while you head to Pak Ou Village for a visit to the Tam Ting (‘Thousand Buddhas') Caves.
  • Enjoy riverside views with a buffet lunch on board.
  • Visit a hill tribe village, where you can watch the traditional process of Lao whiskey production.
  • Arrive at your Pakbeng hotel around sunset and stay overnight there.
  • Dinner is served on the terrace, overlooking the Mekong.
Kuang Si Waterfall
The Pak Ou Caves
Day 12
Mekong River Cruise: Pakbeng to Houayxay; Transfer to Chiang Rai
  • After breakfast in your Pakbeng resort, begin the second leg of the cruise and observe ethnic people's life along the Mekong, such as the Hmong, Yao, and Khmu.
  • A buffet lunch will be served on board.
  • Disembark from the cruise at Houayxay. The cruise company will assist you in crossing the Laos-Thailand border between Houayxay and Chiang Khong.
  • Your Thailand guide and driver will meet you at the Chiang Khong boundary post, and then transfer you straight to your hotel in Chiang Rai (about 1½ hours driving).
The hill tribe village along mekong river
Visit hill tribes villages along the Mekong river
Day 13
Amazing Temples; Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai
  • In the morning, visit Chiang Rai's most interesting temples: Black House and White temple.
  • Afterwards, we'll transfer you to Chiang Mai. Stay overnight there.
the black house
The Black House
Day 14
Doi Suthep Mountain and Cooking Experience
  • Explore Mount Doi Suthep and pilgrimage to sacred Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.
  • Take a rickshaw ride through the small streets and alleys of Chiang Mai.
  • In the afternoon, learn how to make Thai dishes in one of the best cooking schools in Chiang Mai.
Pilgrimage to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
Day 15
A Memorable Elephant Experience
  • Visit Chiang Mai's famous Elephant Nature Park, which is known as the most-environmentally-responsible Elephant Park in Thailand, even in all of Southeast Asia.
  • Walk with the elephants in the jungle, feed them, and watch them bathing in the river.
  • In the park, you would also have the chance to see many other rescued animals, such as bears, cats, and dogs.
Elephant Nature Park
The Elephant Nature Park
Day 16
Chiang Mai to Krabi Island
  • When you arrive at Krabi Airport, you'll find we have a private transfer ready to take you to your beautiful hotel.
The wonderful beach of Krabi Island
Day 17 - 18
Free time on Krabi Island
  • These two days are free for you to spend at leisure by the beach.
  • You may consider taking a speedboat trip to the many nearby tropical paradises, including the famous Phi Phi Islands, or enjoy a serene cruise around the mystical Phang Nga Bay.
Day 19
Krabi to Bangkok
  • After breakfast, transfer to Krabi Airport for your onward flight to Bangkok.
  • Private airport transfers in both Krabi and Bangkok are included.
Day 20
A Day Bangkok City Tour with a Long-tail Boat Ride
  • Experience the morning chanting ritual at Wat Pho, which is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok.
  • Take a tuk tuk ride via Pak Khlong Talat Flower Market to the Grand Palace.
  • Continue with a long-tail boat ride along the ancient canals of Thonburi to get a flavor of local life.
  • Stop at iconic Wat Arun, which was once the grand royal temple of King Rama II.
  • Cross the Chao Phraya River to Chinatown for a glance at Old Bangkok.
Bangkok City Tour
Bangkok City Tour
Day 21
Bangkok Departure
  • As your East Asia tour comes to its end, your private guide and driver will transfer you to Bangkok Airport for your flight back home.

Ideas for Making This Trip Uniquely Yours

Special experiences can be added to brighten a honeymoon trip, a family vacation, a birthday, or satisfy personal interests.

make your own terracotta warriors
Meet the Terracotta Army and make your own terracotta warriors

For history fans

feed the giant panda
Feed giant pandas or red pandas

For those who like wildlife

the floating house in Khao Sok
Stay overnight in a floating house in the rainforest

For romance seekers

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Hand-Picked Hotels

We select hotels with style and local features. Let us know your preferences and we'll find your ideal hotel.

smile lanna hotel
Thai Lanna Style Hotel in Chiang Mai
A seaside resort in Krabi
A Seaside Resort in Krabi
Hotel with Laos style in Luang Prabang
Hotel with Laos style in Luang Prabang
hotel in hoi an
Central located hotel in Bangkok
Michelin recommended hotel in Shanghai
Michelin recommended hotel in Shanghai
Boutique resort in Phuket
Central located hotel in Beijing

Our Service Includes:

21 days from
US$ 5,299
per person (based on 2 persons and 4-star hotels)
  • Private transfers and English-speaking tour guide
  • All guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
  • 4-star accommodations for 20 nights
  • Flights & high-speed trains between cities mentioned in the itinerary
  • Breakfasts at hotels and lunches for every guided day
  • Governmental taxes

Tour code: ah-mtc-10

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  • Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
  • Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
  • Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
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