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10 days in Southeast Asia
Grade: Beginner


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Often referred to as the Golden Triangle, the area between northern Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia became well known for its poppy production after World War II. Prior to the invention of synthetic opioids this region supplied the pharmaceutical and medical communities with opium. As with most things, this soon became the major distribution center for drug cartels worldwide. With the rise of international concern, local enforcement, and the development of synthetic opioids this area has seen peace in recent years.

Golden Triangle • 10 Days

We start our trip in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand and the international trade hub of South East Asia. This city is home to over eight million people, including the Royal Family. We will venture out into the city on local tuk-tuks and see some of the sights before flying to Chiang Mai. The north of Thailand has a distinct feel, as the people are friendlier and the pace of life slower. Did we mention the food is amazing too? Chiang Mai served as the seat of the Lanna Kingdom for centuries and was founded by King Mangrai in 1262.

After exploring the border regions, we make our way to the Laotian border. Formally a colony of France, Laos gained its independence in 1953 and has been slow to modernize. Our journey down the famous Mekong River takes us past beautiful villages, jungles, and karst formations. This slow boat to Luang Prabang is a good time to relax, meditate, and enjoy the surroundings.

Once arriving in Luang Prabang we will transfer to Siem Reap, Cambodia. The nearby Angor Wat complex encompasses 402 acres and was the center of the Khmer Empire until the late 12th century. This area was home to a population of over 1 million at its height, rivaling the size and grandeur of contemporaneous cities in Europe. We will explore these ruins and the surrounding area before wrapping up our trip.

Why travel with Mountain Gurus?

Because we have been exploring Thailand and Southeast Asia for decades. Both our founder and operations director have extensive experience in this region of the world. We simply offer a deeper insight to the culture, food, history and tour sights that few get to experience.

Southeast Asia is an adventurer’s dream come true. With our custom tours, you do not have to choose sports or culture or romance – we can customize a trip for you that combines any or all these aspects. The best times to travel to Southeast Asia is during the cool season (November – January).

Mountain Gurus always plans their adventures with you in mind, but also the local customs and traditions of your host country. We minimize the environmental impact of our tours so you can take away many memories, but leave only boot tracks.

Tour Highlights

  • 10 days exploring Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia
  • Slow boat ride down the Mekong River
  • Angkor Wat
  • Traditional Thai, Laotian, and Khmer foods
  • Co-led by local and western guide
  • Welcome dinner in Bangkok, Thailand
  • Final dinner in Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Guided tour of Bangkok and Angkor Wat
  • Friendly MG office staff will help prepare you for the adventure

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1 • Arrive Bangkok, Thailand
Day 2 • Explore Bangkok
Day 3 • Chiang Mai
Day 4 • Chiang Rai
Day 5 • Slow Boat from Huay Xai, Laos
Day 6 • Slow Boat to Luang Prabang
Day 7 • Explore Luang Prabang
Day 8 • Flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia
Day 9 • Angkor Wat
Day 10 • Explore Siem Reap / Final Dinner


Golden Triangle

Trek begins in Bangkok and ends in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Day 1 • Arrive Bangkok, Thailand

After arriving in Bangkok we will transfer to a hotel on the famous Sukhumvit Road. If time allows we will explore the surrounding area and get our first taste of Thai culture and food.

Day 2 • Explore Bangkok

We will start the day early at the local market place, the heart of Thai life. This is also a great place to view the traditional alms giving to monks. It will also give you some experience speaking Thai! The rest of the day will be dedicated to seeing important landmarks like Wat Arun, The Royal Palace, and strolling through Chinatown. We will utilize a mixture of Tuk-tuks and water taxis for a more authentic tour of the city.

Day 3 • Flight to Chiang Mai – Walking Street

On this day we will take a quick flight north to the northern capital of Chiang Mai. Once we check in to our hotel we will then explore the famous Sunday Night Walking Street.

Transport to Chiang Rai, Thailand

We make our way to the heart of the Thai Golden Triangle in Chiang Rai. This sleepy town was once the center of a booming opium trade, until it was outlawed in the 1980’s. On our way we will stop at the famous Wat Rong Khun (White Temple) and Black Temple built by artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. In Chiang Rai we will tour the museum and talk to locals about the impact of opium in the last century.

Day 5 • Slow Boat from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang, Laos

After a few hours journey by private shuttle we will check in with customs and cross the river into Laos. This country was a former French colony but has since become a paradise for those looking for a slower stress-free pace of life. We will board our boat and start the journey down the famous Mekong River.

Day 6 • Slow Boat from Luang Prabang to Vientiane, Laos

We continue our boat journey down the Mekong River to Vientiane, the capital city of Laos. After getting rid of our sea legs we will check into our hotel and have time to explore the city.

Day 7 • Explore Vientiane, Laos

We will explore the colonial and ancient history and architecture of Vientiane.

Day 8 • Flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia

This morning we eat well and make our way to the airport for a short flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Made famous for the temples of Angkor Wat, this area once supported a population of over a million people. The extent of the Angkor Kingdom was one the greatest in ancient history. We will also visit the local Phare circus tonight.

Day 9 • Angkor Wat

Considered one of the most expansive temple complexes ever built, we will enjoy a sunrise over the temples of Angkor Wat. There are over 100 temples in this expansive complex, all with unique styles

Day 10 • Explore Siem Reap / Final Dinner

This day is dedicated to exploring the town of Siem Reap. There are several activities to choose from including additional time at the Angkor Wat complex, cooking classes, massage, shopping, etc. We will conclude the trip with a final dinner.

Itinerary Notes
Mountain Gurus makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the needs of the group. Meal schedule: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner




Deposit and Payments

$700.00 deposit includes reservation fee, due with application
Balance due 90 days prior to departure

Price Includes

  • Hotels (based on double occupancy)
  • All scheduled meals
  • All scheduled land and water transport costs
  • All support staff and guide staff, including a Western guide.

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare to Bangkok / Siem Reap
  • Thai tourist visa, Laotian tourist visa, or Cambodian tourist visa
  • Excess baggage fees and taxes
  • Snack/lunch food during the trip
  • Personal gear
  • Non-scheduled meals, drinks, or alcoholic beverages
  • Non-scheduled porter services
  • Non-schedule hotel stays
  • Trip cancellation insurance (highly recommended)
  • Single room supplement (hotels only) $600 USD
  • Medical and evacuation coverage
  • Staff gratuities


A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your trip will be sent to you in the PreClimb information upon reservation.

Head and Face

  • Sun Hat or Baseball Cap
  • Sunglasses: Essential eye protection at altitude.
  • Sunscreen: SPF 30+
  • Lip Balm: SPF 30+

Upper Body

  • Baselayer Tops: Cotton or synthetic short-sleeve shirts.
  • Poncho or Light Rain Jacket: Quick and handy protection for body and rucksack
  • Light Jacket: Light synthetic jacket

Lower Body

  • Quick Dry Shorts: Good for hiking and tour days.
  • Trekking Pants: Synthetic, stretchy, non-insulated
  • Rain Pants: Bring a good pair of rain/wind pants.


  • Athletic Socks: Six pair synthetic light weight
  • Sport Shoes: One pair medium weight shoes large enough to be comfortable with sock.
  • Sport Sandals: These are to wear in during tour days.

Packing and Backpack

  • Backpack: One 30L pack with good support, adequate to carry personal.

Personal Health and First Aid

  • Small personal first-aid kit and medications



Program Location:
Begins in Bankgogk, Thailand, Ends in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Visa/Entry Information:
Passport must have six months or more validity remaining at the time of entry. Consult the Thai, Laotian, and Cambodian Consulate for updated costs.

Health & Immunizations:
Immunizations are not required for entry.

Flight Travel Information:
Arrival – Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK)
Departure – Siem Reap International Airport (REP)

International Departures:
Itineraries reflect the date and time you will need to arrive in country for a program. Mountain Gurus programs begin and end in the countries destination city. When booking your flight, you will need to account for travel time and crossing the international dateline if needed. It is easiest to give your booking agent the day and time you will need to arrive.

Meals and Food:
All meals are provided as per meal schedule. See itinerary.

A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your program will be sent to you in the pre-departure packet upon reservation. For your safety and comfort, it is extremely important that you adhere strictly to the equipment list.

Golden Triangle Fitness & Training

Trekking Grade: Beginner

Basic fitness is needed for this trip. Most of our activities will be day trips with adequate time to recover each night.

Prior to the expedition we recommend running, hiking local peaks, backpacking and trekking to gain strength and stamina for the climb.

Here’s a suggested progression before joining a Golden Triangle trip:

  • Backpacking and international travel experience a plus
  • Mount Fuji, Machu Picchu, optional

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to treat the water?

All water will be treated chemically or boiled. Bottled water is recommended when in town or at the hotel.

What if I arrive early or the trip ends early / or late?

If you arrive early we are happy to book extra nights at the hotel. If the trip finishes earlier or later than expected be prepared by purchasing travel insurance or a flexible return ticket.

How much extra cash should I bring?

If you plan on purchasing non-scheduled services bring between $400 – $600 USD in cash. Remember, gratuities for guide and camp staff are not included. It is customary to tip guides 10% of the trip cost. Credit cards are also accepted at most ATM’s in the city, remember to tell your bank you will be out of the country. Note that crisp US dollars are preferred and in use in Laos and Cambodia.

What are the visa requirements?

Consult the Thai, Cambodian, and Laotian Embassies for details related to visa requirements for your nationality.