The Golden Triangle and the Jewel city
Travel across Northern Thailand, through the Infamous Golden Triangle, and reach the temple-studded gem of Laos.
"Andrea did a wonderful job designing an itinerary to suit three generations of diverse interests, and was flexible and responsive to last minute changes and requests. He showed us many hidden treasures of this beautiful region that would have missed we're it not for him."
- Heather on her journey in Italy
A possible, beautiful itinerary for you
A Peculiar Mode of Transport
You arrive in the bustling city of Chiang Mai. You soon discover the excitement and the variety such a city has to offer. Aboard a trishaw, you go through crows, from market to market, and at every step you uncover the many flavours and aromas of Northern Thailand. It is alluring and intoxicating, a feast for the senses. Fortunately, before becoming overwhelmed with it all, you stop at peaceful temples and find a curious rhythm, interweaving peace and activity. This much becomes clear: on this trip, you can go as deep as you want. The Gilded Hall of Viharn Lai Kham fills you with awe and admiration. You crown your arrival with a blessing, that sets the tone for days to come.
Crossing Frontiers with Style
The lush nature of Northern Thailand calls for exploration, and as you trek through the jungles near Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, you find yourself the guest of amiable Hilltribes, whose members are more than willing to share their culture, their cuisine, and they even let you try on some of their beautifully handcrafted traditional dresses. You must continue on your journey to Laos, and that means going deep into the Golden Triangle. This region where Myanmar, Thailand and Laos share a frontier, is one of the world’s most prominent opium producing areas. It is beautiful, but complicated. It is peaceful, but there is an underlying feeling of adventure. The significance of this frontier crossing is not lost on you. Read more
The Gem of Northern Laos
Luang Prabang is a treasure amidst the dense forests of Laos. It is a city with a spiritual force of its own. However, the city does not yield its secrets lightly. First you must discover more about its history, and of the nature that surrounds it. You ride an elephant through the jungle, and you learn much about these magnificent giants. You soon befriend your mount, as it bears you gently across a magical landscape. The cragged terrain hides gorgeous waterfalls, perfect for swimming and relaxing before continuing on your adventure.
A Troublesome Poppy
The day begins with a hike to the Hilltribes that live around the Opium Trail. Many of the farmers in this region are moving to lower lands to grow crops other than that perilous poppy. You get to visit old opium farms, and learn about the complicated history of this drug. The terraced rice plots are characteristic of this region. You become a rice farmer for the day, and learn the ancient technologies that have given sustenance to your hosts for generations over thousands of years. It is a hard life, but one that is full of joys and perspective. In a way, you have extracted life, out of the soil.
The Secret of Luang Prabang
You visit the many temples of Luang Prabang. They fill you with a strange mixture of awe and inner peace. This gem in Northern Laos is truly a piece of art. You have been learning about its history, its heritage, and still, you have not yet grasped its secret. It seems to you, that everything here is crafted in accordance to nature, and this becomes apparent as you learn to cook in the style of the region. The fresh ingredients regale your palate with strange flavours that heighten all your other senses. Next morning, you get up early, as you set out to participate in the moving ceremony of Tak Bat, the giving of alms. Each day, Buddhists Monks, in their colourful saffron robes, take to the streets of Luang Prabang, and receive sustenance from the townsfolk. You already know what it takes to grow rice, and as you put a handful of it inside a monk’s basket, the city finally unveils its secret: giving.