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A Backpacker's Dream
Laos, Thailand, Cambodia
A Backpacker's Dream

Our 25-day trip through Laos, Thailand and Cambodia is the perfect adventure to explore the beauty of the towns, jungles, rivers and temples that exist within the interior of these three equally astounding countries. Our only 25-day trip, we simply could not fit all the amazing activities and destinations of this trip into 20-days, so the extra time allows for a bit of chill time and balances out the flurry of epic activities you’ll experience as you loop through 3 of the most interesting countries in the world. But if you want, this trip can keep your daily itineraries filled to the brim with a seemingly endless amount of incredible things to see and do. Your camera will fill quickly with astonishing waterfalls cascading into an oasis in the middle of a tropical jungle, massive trees hundreds of years old growing right out of ancient temples and lines of hundreds of Buddhist monks in saffron robes walking down the street. Your friends will have trouble believing that everything you experienced was on one trip!

A Backpacker's Dream

The largest city and capital of Thailand, Bangkok is known not only as the gateway to Thailand but to all of Southeast Asia. At around 10 million people, Bangkok is a hive of activity and is full of people from all over the world. Its eclectic mix of residents and travellers creates one of the most international and diverse major cities in the world. Despite its diversity in people, Bangkok is very traditionally Thai - some of the most elaborate and extraordinary Buddhist temples lie within Bangkok and the city is filled with beautiful dedications to the King and the Royal Family, including The Grand Palace. There is an infinity of places to explore in this city and things to do, but most people will spend their time doing what Bangkok has become infamous with travellers for: shopping, eating amazing food and epic partying!

A Backpacker's Dream
Chiang Mai

Nestled along the lush northern foothills of Thailand, brightened by hundreds of sacred temples and made festive by the fun-loving population, Chiang Mai embodies the heart and soul of Thai culture: holy and happy. Built around the old moated town centre, still outlined by a massive and crumbling stone wall, Chiang Mai is a progressive city that holds on tightly to its rich history. The peaceful nature of the city carries right into the night-time as Chiang Mai boasts one of the most devout and lively reggae music scenes outside of Jamaica. And with an endless amount of bucket-list activities within the city, from bungee jumping to petting a tiger, the lure of Chiang Mai and its world-famous food will make it very difficult for you to leave!

A Backpacker's Dream
Jungle Trek

Hiking through the lush, green jungles of northern Thailand is no joking matter, but it’s an experience not to be missed. We get to spend 3 days trekking in the Thai backcountry, experiencing everything from muddy paths to thick vegetation and incredibly beautiful waterfalls. At night we’ll camp out in tribal villages where the whole group will sleep in a massive hut and eat and drink with the locals. From hanging out with elephants (and getting to give them baths!) to bamboo rafting down a river and sipping on Thai ‘happy water,’ these three days will be some of the toughest, most adventurous and rewarding of your LTC.

A Backpacker's Dream
Luang Prabang

High up in the mountains of Laos, at the confluence of the Nam Khan and Mekong River rises the majestic city of Luang Prabang. Its golden temples, colourful markets and French architecture make this place a constant source of visual wonder. Thousands of saffron robed Buddhist monks reside in Luang Prabang and can be seen every morning walking the streets in lines receiving alms from the local people. The entire city is a Unesco World Heritage site and it is easy to see why, as it as much of a must-see place as anywhere on Earth.

A Backpacker's Dream
Vang Vieng

Deep in the jungle of Laos, surrounded by soaring limestone cliffs and rice terraces lies the gorgeous town of Vang Vieng. At times existing dubiously outside the strict laws of Laos, Vang Vieng has been known to throw some of the craziest parties in the world. Although the famous tubing experience down the Nam Song river has been more or less closed off with the government demolition of nearly every riverside bar due to a large disregard in safety standards, taking a trip down the picturesque river by tube or kayak is still a great experience and provides stunning views of the surreal landscapes surrounding Vang Vieng. Rock climbing the cliffs, exploring the caves, viewing the temples, hiking through the hills and enjoying this classic backpacker town are all part of the experience of Vang Vieng. And although the party level may never be the same as years past, not being cross-eyed drunk the entire time you're in Vang Vieng provides more opportunity to enjoy this incredibly beautiful place and leave town with more than just a hangover!

A Backpacker's Dream
Siem Reap

Not far from the fun-filled and raucous Pub Street in the charming Cambodian town of Siem Reap lies arguably the most fascinating ancient structure in the world, the massive temple city of Angkor Wat. Besides the largest and one of the most intricate religious temples in the world, Angkor Wat holds a world of wonder inside its ancient walls from towering trees wrapping their roots around Buddhist statues to mysterious Hindu and Buddhist temples stretching for hundreds of meters. Siem Reap is the jumping point to explore Angkor Wat during the day, but at night your time is spent enjoying the cheap pubs, friendly locals, tasty food and street-lined boulevards of Siem Reap.

Traveling on Cloud 9
Traveling on Cloud 9

This trip provides all the best that the eastern part of the Philippines has to offer: a paradise island you can enjoy to yourselves, one of Southeast Asia’s best surf breaks and a step back into history hiking through the wondrous ancient emerald rice terraces of Banaue. There is a chance to do a little bit of everything on this 20-day adventure as there is ample time to unpack your bags and live on the beach when you spend a week in Siargao at the world famous Cloud 9 surf break. But there are also portions of the trip where days are filled with activity and crazy travel days as you get a taste of what travelling through the tropical island and mountain oasis of the Philippines is like!

Traveling on Cloud 9

Often given a bad reputation for its enormous size and overcrowded population, Manila is actually much more charming than it is given credit for. The city is separated into many distinct districts and when you downsize sprawling Manila into more manageable and smaller cities then individually some of them aren't so bad. We stay at a very cool, backpacker's spot that showcases some of the best live music and dancing venues that Manila has to offer, and seeing the jovial spirit of Filipinos in full force at karaoke and dance bars is a great way to enjoy your time here. Another district houses a massive modern shopping complex that has a very unique vibe to it and is a convenient place for your all-in-one shopping stop. So your expectations may be low for Manila, but enter the city with an open mind and you may very well enjoy your time here!

Traveling on Cloud 9
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Banaue Rice Terraces

It'll feel like you're traveling back in time, and in many ways you are, when you take the winding road through Northern Philippines and into the dazzling world of the ancient emerald rice terraces of Banaue. Miraculously dug by hand and carved into the hills by the indigenous Ifugao people over 2000 years ago, the Banaue rice terraces cover over 10,000 km of hillside. And life has not changed much since the terraces were built as they are still the main source of food for the region. Hiking through the mountains of Banaue will not only give you incredible views of the stunning rice terraces and the surrounding scenery, but it will also give you a peek into a humbling lifestyle of farming and village life. Experiencing the Banaue rice terraces will give you an opportunity to see a sight often dubbed 'the 8th Wonder of the World' and also to walk through a world where simpler times prevail and just having food to eat and a place to sleep is more than enough reason to smile!

Traveling on Cloud 9

With little development and very few tourists, staying on Catanduanes Island presents an awesome opportunity to hang out with the local Filipino people and experience their famous hospitality. The famous Majestics surf break is right outside our front door on Pururan Beach, our perfect spot on Catanduanes. There isn't much to the island besides the wicked beach, the stellar waves and the people on it, but that is just what we like from a destination! We spend most of our days hitting the beach for some R & R (rum and relaxation) and enjoying the happy-go-lucky atmosphere instilled by the local people, who ensure that each day and night is stress-free and full of fun!

Traveling on Cloud 9
Philippines Paradise Island

Panglao Island is the perfect balance of having a long gorgeous beach, fun nightlife, and all sorts of natural wonders nearby to explore. It offers scuba diving and snorkelling trips that will blow you away. The visibility and sheer number of fish makes it feel like a dreamy underwater world. The dive sites are protected as UNESCO world heritage sites, where sightings of sea turtles are common, and it’s possible to see dolphins as well! Connected to Bohol Island by a bridge you will have the chance to explore some incredible spots. Bohol is home to the famous ‘Chocolate Hills,’ which are 1268 round hills popping out of the landscape for as far as you can see. At the ‘Tarsier Visitor’s Center’ you can see the resident furry, monkey-like animal with huge globe eyes that isn’t found anywhere anywhere else in the world. Or you can stop in to see the world’s largest python in captivity – it weighs more than 200 kg! We'll also venture deeper into Bohol Island to spend time at its massive waterfalls and natural swimming pools. Back in Panglao fresh chicken and seafood BBW are the favourite dinner choices, and the scene gets lively at several nightspots along the beach. With your group, there is never a shortage of fun and excitement, and this is another destination you definitely won’t want to leave.

Traveling on Cloud 9

The quiet fishing village of Donsol in a remote part of The Philippines has become one of the most astounding places to visit in the world because of its amazing residents that grace the waters here for part of each year and give you a chance to swim with the them. Whale sharks, the largest fish in the world and one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet, swarm to the tropical waters near Donsol in incredible numbers each year around March. We time our Philippines trip at this time to coincide with the arrival of the whale sharks to Donsol and getting to see and swim with these friendly giants makes the trip to Donsol more than worthwhile!

Traveling on Cloud 9

Located in the far eastern part of The Philippines, Siargao is an incredible island that truly offers everything we could want from a destination. Its low-key travel community and laid-back population create the perfect vibe to enjoy Siargao's gorgeous scenery, wicked beaches and its stellar surf scene that rivals any in Southeast Asia. There's plenty of reasons why we spend an entire week here on our Philippines trip, but the waves are what make it the hardest to leave. The water is warm, the surf community is friendly and helpful, the views from your board are always ridiculously amazing and the beaches offer a chilled sanctuary to rest between surf sessions. The few beach bars are great places to gather at night with the locals and other travellers and enjoy parties in paradise before you go to bed and wake up to another awesome day in the surf and sun.

Traveling on Cloud 9
Sohoton Lagoon

Travelling by boat to Sohoton Lagoon, which is an island encircling a lagoon, you'll pass by many gorgeous islands and empty beaches including the aptly named Paradise Island, but you'll keep going until you reach a place that is especially amazing: an island of white-sand and palm trees surrounding a calm turquoise-blue lagoon shimmering in the sun. This is Sohoton Lagoon, an island paradise we get to enjoy on our Philippines trip, staying in a single giant house and enjoying incredible barbecue feasts on the beach. When visiting Sohoton Lagoon, you really do get to taste paradise!

Traveling on Cloud 9

Known as The Jewel of the South in the Philippines, Cebu is the country's second largest city and an important transit point for traveling around the southern part of the country. A relaxed and well-stocked city, it is a great place to enjoy the cozy amenities not found in some of the more isolated destinations in the country, such as taking in a new film at the cinema, pumping your guns at the gym, or eating at a nice guilty-pleasure restaurant. This charming port city also boasts some worthwhile historical sites such as the Catholic monuments of Santo Niño de Cebu and Magellan's Cross. Time in Cebu is mainly just time spent passing through, but that's no reason to not enjoy all that the city has to offer!

Epic Adventure
45 Days in Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines






A Backpacker's Dream
Laos, Thailand, Cambodia
A Backpacker's Dream

Our 25-day trip through Laos, Thailand and Cambodia is the perfect adventure to explore the beauty of the towns, jungles, rivers and temples that exist within the interior of these three equally astounding countries. Our only 25-day trip, we simply could not fit all the amazing activities and destinations of this trip into 20-days, so the extra time allows for a bit of chill time and balances out the flurry of epic activities you’ll experience as you loop through 3 of the most interesting countries in the world. But if you want, this trip can keep your daily itineraries filled to the brim with a seemingly endless amount of incredible things to see and do. Your camera will fill quickly with astonishing waterfalls cascading into an oasis in the middle of a tropical jungle, massive trees hundreds of years old growing right out of ancient temples and lines of hundreds of Buddhist monks in saffron robes walking down the street. Your friends will have trouble believing that everything you experienced was on one trip!

Leg 1: A Backpacker's Dream (25 days)
Traveling on Cloud 9
Traveling on Cloud 9

This trip provides all the best that the eastern part of the Philippines has to offer: a paradise island you can enjoy to yourselves, one of Southeast Asia’s best surf breaks and a step back into history hiking through the wondrous ancient emerald rice terraces of Banaue. There is a chance to do a little bit of everything on this 20-day adventure as there is ample time to unpack your bags and live on the beach when you spend a week in Siargao at the world famous Cloud 9 surf break. But there are also portions of the trip where days are filled with activity and crazy travel days as you get a taste of what travelling through the tropical island and mountain oasis of the Philippines is like!

Leg 2: Traveling on Cloud 9 (20 days)

Itinerary for this adventure

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Leg 1

A Backpacker's Dream: 25 days in Laos, Thailand, Cambodia

Day 1 Bangkok
Group flights arrive in the afternoon. Get acquainted with the busy streets of Bangkok and meet your group over some food and drinks at the guesthouse.
Day 2-5 Siem Reap
Take private A/C minibus* to the Thai/Cambodian border. Cross into Cambodia and take a bus to Siem Reap. Take minibus transfer to the airport and fly to Siem Reap. This city which will be our starting point for exploring the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat on our locally-guided FNEZ temple tour (incl). We include a 3-day pass to the ancient city, so there will be plenty of opportunity to explore the temple grounds on your own. Local night life on "Pub Street", cafes, and street food are just minutes away, or beat the heat by chilling in our hotel swimming pool! *all transport on this trip is private except for any flights and trains.
Day 6 Vientiane
Take minibus to the airport. Fly to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. Take minibus transfer to the hotel. Exploring the Capital city offers a glimpse of the important French influence in this country.
Day 7-10 Vang Vieng
Take A/C coach bus to Vang Vieng. Surrounded by natural beauty of rivers, mountains and forest, this is a perfect to enjoy an array of outdoor activities. There are opportunities for rock-climbing, kayaking, caving or join your group for a float down the famous Nam Song river on an inner tube, and visit by the river-side bars that the dot the banks along the way.
Day 11-13 Luang Prabang
Take our A/C bus North to Luang Prabang. This culturally rich city on the Mehkong river is a Unesco World Heritage Site and home to more Buddhist temples per capita, than anywhere else in the world! These temples are home to many monks, whom you can observe during the daily Alms Ceremony where long lines of monks walk the early-morning streets and receive Alms from the local people. Cruise the quiet streets by pedal bike and discover vibrant markets or head outside the city for a collection of majestic waterfalls.
Day 14 Huai Kon
Board our very own Free & Easy "Slow-Boat" and cruise down the Mekong river. This travel day includes lunch on the boat, plenty of room to stretch out onboard, and even tables for dining or games. This unique travel day offers stunning scenery and a unique perspective into rural river life as we slowly make our way towards Thailand.
Day 15 Chiang Mai
Take A/C mini bus to Chiang Mai. Our guesthouse centrally located in the old part of the city and is the perfect base for exploring the many small streets, cafes, and markets in the area. You'll never be bored in this city, as it offers no shortage of activities ranging from Thai cooking classes to bungee jumping.
Day 16-17 Jungle Trek
Take private transfer to the starting point of the trek. On our way we'll visit a local market for last minute supplies, have a swim underneath and waterfall, and even visit some hot springs. We'll begin out hike into the beautiful jungle of Northern Thailand. Hike through villages and over mountainous terrain, float down the river on locally constructed bamboo rafts, give an elephant a bath, and sleep in the traditional long-houses of hill tribe villages that welcome us into their homes.
Day 18-22 Chiang Mai
Finish the trek and take private transfer back to Chiang Mai. Our beautiful guesthouse offers a restaurant, and a tropical garden with hammocks. Based in the old part of the city, everything is within walking distance; from late night live music bars, street food dining, Muay Thai boxing rings, and many markets. Optional adventures outside the city include ziplining, bungee jumping, massage schools, cooking classes... you name it, Chiang Mai has it! On our last day, we'll take private transfer to the train station and board the night train bound for Bangkok.
Day 23-25 Bangkok
Arrive off the night train and take minibus transfer to the guesthouse. Enjoy the last days in the boisterous city of Bangkok with last minute shopping opportunities, getting clothing tailor-made, exploring the streets, or partying on the infamous Khao San Road.
Leg 2

Traveling on Cloud 9: 20 days in Philippines

Day 1-2 Manila
Group flights arrives late in the evening, and upon arrival at the guesthouse you will meet your group over drinks. The following day we will do a group tour of the astonishing San Agustin Church (incl). In the evening, we will take a private* A/C bus to Banaue. *all bus & jeepney transfers will be private on this trip. Only ferry rides are public.
Day 2-3 Batad
Arrive off the night bus in Banaue and take jeepney to the rice terraces. Hike to the historic rice terraces of Batad, often dubbed 'the 8th Wonder of the World'. Stay overnight in a small village with one of the best views imaginable. The next day, hike back and take jeepney back to Banaue and board the night bus back to Manila.
Day 4-6 Catanduanes
Arrive from the night bus at the airport and take a flight to Catanduanes Island. From the airport take jeepney to our paradise beach bungalows. Spend the next few days relaxing on the beach, surfing, exploring and interacting with the incredibly friendly locals.
Day 7-10 Panglao
Fly from Catanduanes to Manila and then take a flight to Tagbilaran City. Our van will pick us up to take us to Alonaland Resort in Panglao. We'll spend the next few days hanging around the pool, checking out the restaurants,bars and diveshops on the beach and going to explore the famous Chocolate Hills. * In March we go to Donsol instead of Bohol.
Day 7-10 Donsol*
Take jeepney to the ferry terminal. Take ferry to Tabaco City and take minibus to Donsol. Here you will have a chance to swim with whale sharks, the gentle giants of the sea. On the last day, take minibus to the airport and fly to Cebu. Take minibus to the ferry terminal and board the night ferry bound for Surigao. * We only go to Donsol in March
Day 11-17 Siargao
Change to the ferry bound for Siargao. This island's laid back island combines gorgeous scenery and wicked beaches with a world class surf scene. Just around the corner from our ocean view hotel lies famous surf-breaks like "Cloud 9" and "QuickSilver". On the last day our jeepney transfer will take us to the airport and then we fly to Cebu.
Day 18-20 Cebu
From the airport our minibus will take you to the hotel. Cebu is known as 'The Jewel of the South in the Philippines'. Explore this city and enjoy local street-foods, shopping, and nightlife. On the last day the group will take taxis to fly out of Cebu International Airport.

To live Free and Easy is to live without busy, rigid schedules. Each destination provides some amazing activities, but we make sure that free time is there so you can take part in all of them or none of them, do as much or as little as you want. 'Take time, breathe it all in, no rush!'

More detailed information about what's included, destination information and activities are listed on this page.

Please note: The above itinerary is subject to change. A confirmed Free & Easy trip itinerary with exact routing will be provided at least 30 days prior to trip departure. 

Epic Experiences you will have on this adventure

Explore Angkor Wat

Just outside of Siem Reap in the heart of Cambodia lies one of the most remarkable cities in the world, sprawled out over an area the size of Paris lies the Lost City of Angkor Wat: the remains of one of the greatest kingdoms in Asia. Its hundreds of temples and monuments will leave you speechless when you walk through them, as you're sure to be continually pinching yourself to make sure that you're not dreaming. The incredible temples of Angkor were abandoned over 500 years ago and then began to be slowly enveloped by the encroaching jungle. However, the huge trees that have sprung through the ruins and wrapped their roots around its stones only add to the mystique and spiritual energy of Angkor Wat, one of the most wondrous places to see in the world!

Surf a Wave

Nothing compares to the feeling you get the first time you paddle into a wave, stand up as it breaks and ride the face of it – this is the incomparable feeling of surfing. When you get it right, you'll know, because you'll be more excited than the first time you had sex and probably more addicted to it, too! Surfing is arguably the most challenging sport in the world and requires you to learn much more than physical coordination. In order to surf a wave, you'll need patience, discipline, a lack of fear and an insatiable urge to have fun. It's no coincidence that 7 of the countries that we run trips to (Indonesia, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Peru, Panama & South Africa) have wicked surf scenes, because there's nothing quite like it.

Go Scuba Diving

Diving is like no other experience on Earth. Life under the water is silent and peaceful, everything is flowing and moving in a way that we land creatures are unaccustomed to. Despite all of our high tech equipment, we are extremely out of our element in the water and it is a humbling experience to watch and observe what life is like under the sea. Fish come in all shapes, sizes and colours and move together in a harmonious unison through beautiful coral and twisted sunlight. On our trips, scuba diving is a huge activity as we travel to countries that offer some of the best diving in the world. The Caribbean in Central America possesses the second largest reef in the world, the warm waters of the South Pacific in Southeast Asia are home to the largest diversity of sea-life in the world and the seas of the Mediterranean are full of rich history and beauty. There is a whole universe under the ocean and experiencing what’s it like to be in it is a must at least once in your life!

Refill not Landfill

The Refill, Not Landfill initiative is the perfect complement to our beach cleaning initiatives. Plastic water bottles make up a large percentage of the waste that gathers on beaches around the world. With over 1000 travellers coming on trips with us throughout the year, and drinking/buying water bottles like nobody's business we realized that we are a part of the problem. So we decided to provide several of the guesthouses we stay at with filtered, re-useable water coolers to provide our travelers with all the water they need without creating any additional waste. Our hope is that by taking these steps and continuing to build on this initiative we will set ourselves up to completely eliminate plastic water bottles from our trips altogether. If we are able to do that we could prevent the use of approximately 100,000 plastic water bottles each year alone! So don’t forget to bring your re-usable water bottle on your trip and contribute to the world in an awesome way!

Swimming with Whale Sharks

***ONLY AVAILABLE ON OUR MARCH TRIP DATE!*** There’s nothing like swimming next to the largest fish in the animal kingdom to feel how small we truly are. While the word ‘shark’ might conjure up images of Jaws and blood-soaked waters, Whale Sharks are actually filter feeder sharks and the majority of their diet is made up of plankton -- so a clumsy looking human swimming around won't be very appetizing. But swimming with this beast isn't as easy as jumping into the ocean. Although you don't require scuba gear as whale sharks commonly swim around the surface, they can be elusive and many divers/snorkelers never get the chance to see one up close. Whale Sharks can be found in many places around the world but arguably the best place in the world to swim with them is the Philippines. Donsol possesses one of the largest school of whale sharks in the world and it's no coincidence that we time our March Philippines adventure to coincide with the best time to see these beautiful creatures up close. It's an experience our group leaders never get sick of and our group members never cease to be amazed by. So snap on your facemask, pull on those flippers and dive into the big blue for an awe-inspiring adventure with these gentle giants. (Boat & guide included, snorkel/diving gear not included).

Ride a Bamboo Raft Down a River

Let us paint this scene out for you: You've just spent all day hiking through thick jungle and vegetation deep in the wilderness of Northern Thailand. You're almost ready to call it a day but there's still several miles between you and the nearest village and there's a massive river blocking your crossing. There's bamboo everywhere so you pull out a machete, chop down some bamboo canes and tie them all together. Not only do you now have a raft, all of your friends are there and a beer cooler, too! Your jungle trek has now become a raft party - you've still got to navigate the rapids but taking turns with that task while sipping some beers as the sun sets behind you will be a perfect way to end the day. And don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of help building a proper and safe raft!

Observe the Buddhist Almsgiving Ritual

There is a philosophy in Buddhism that the more you give, the wealthier you will become. And the almsgiving that takes place in the breathtaking town of Luang Prabang in Northern Laos is a beautiful visual display of this philosophy. Every morning (just after sunrise) hundreds of saffron-robed monks from the various monasteries walk barefoot through the streets and are given food by the local people that sit and wait for them along the side of the road. This is a very important ritual not only so that the monks can receive food as they are not permitted to ever ask for anything, but also for the people that give the food as they gain merit and karma by feeding the monks. If you are not a practicing Buddhist, then we would recommend only observing the almsgiving and not participating. As one thing that is taught by seeing this ritual is that the most important attribute to display is: Respect.

Meet an Elephant

*This is an ETHICAL ELEPHANT EXPERIENCE* Animals have always fascinated us. There is an admiration we feel in awe of their beauty and their spirit, but there is perhaps no animal that is more admired than the elephant. Its giant size and gentle nature make it one of the most powerful, yet loving animals in the world. But because of this, they are often captured in the wild and sold to the logging industry to be worked to death hauling trees through the jungle. Many organizations have sprung up to rescue elephants from this horrible practice and keep them in protected camps, run by families that afford to keep them fed and healthy, by giving other people the chance to interact with the beautiful animals. Deeply rooted in Thai culture, caring for elephants is extremely sacred; a family that cares for elephants dedicates a great deal of their life to the one elephant entrusted to their care, as they are usually bound to one another for their entire lives. Getting face to face with an elephant is an incredible experience and one that you'll likely never forget!

Ride in a Hot Air Balloon

Let's face it, we all want to ride in a hot air balloon. There's something about them that has captivated our imagination since we were kids. And what's not to love? You get to float up to great heights in a giant picnic basket attached to a massive balloon powered by an open flame. It's an experience that belongs on everyone's bucket list. We have two favourite places to ride in a hot air balloon: Vang Vieng on our LTC trip and Cappadocia on our Turkey adventure. Deep in the jungle of Laos along the Mekong River and surrounded by limestone cliffs, Vang Vieng is definitely one of the most incredible places on the planet to view from a hot air balloon, and the cave city of Cappadocia with its moon-like terrain and fairy chimneys is like no other place on Earth and perfect for viewing from the air at a relaxing pace in a hot air balloon to truly soak up its incredible beauty! *This experience is not doable from June-August

Have a Tropical Island All to Yourself

This experience is one we all dream about, but think is only possible for the rich and famous, however, we are able to do this on our Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand trips! And it's true that having an entire island to yourself seems a bit lavish, but it's a luxurious and relaxing experience that also leads to a whole lot of fun! It's like when you were younger and you first got to experience what having a house to yourself was like, but this time there’s no neighbours or even cops. We like to head to the island with our groups for a night or sometimes several stocked with frisbees, food, snorkel gear, coolers of beer, guitars, bottles of rum, fishing gear and our hammocks - everything we could possibly need. And then we just literally do whatever we want!

Rock Climb Up a Natural Cliff Face

Most of us have tried rock climbing, but it's usually been in a sweaty gym with an artificial climbing wall that is trying to mimic the outdoor experience of rock climbing. When you climb a natural cliff face, your body seems to know it and you almost feel like you're tapping into a core part of your humanity that is telling you that somehow, someway you have to scale this cliff - and most people surprise themselves with their ability to do it. One of the best parts of outdoor rock climbing is that it's generally done in some of the most surreal places on this planet so when you get to the top of your climb you're rewarded with a breathtaking view. From Thailand to Turkey to Peru and beyond, get your climb on in some of the most beautiful settings for an incredible experience and tremendous feeling of personal accomplishment.

Get Any Outfit You Can Imagine Tailor-made

For most travelers, shopping at home is an expensive and (for some) inconvenient chore, as we must troll through stores, malls, websites and our friends' closets in search of clothes that fit us properly and match our style. If only we could just go see some kind of person who makes clothes specifically for our size and preference… like a tailor? Having your clothes tailor-made is something we shrug off as something only for the rich and people interested in suits and dresses, but in many parts of world tailors are still very prevalent and surprisingly affordable - and there is perhaps no place where this is more true than in Southeast Asia. Bangkok in Thailand is famous for its many suit and dress tailors offering great deals on a virtually infinite list of outfits. Likely the only place better than Bangkok is in the beautiful ancient capital of Hoi An in Vietnam, where you can find very cheap and very good tailors that make both western and traditional Vietnamese clothing. And we mean they'll make you anything: suits, dresses, jeans, shoes, jackets and with any material from high quality silk to denim to leather. It’s a dream come true for clothes lovers and an easy and cheap solution for those that detest shopping!

Hike the Rice Terraces of Banaue

There's no denying that the Banaue rice terraces in the Philippines are one of the most amazing sights on the planet. Etched out of the hillside over 2000 years ago, the seemingly endless number of terraces stretch through valleys and around hills and are all connected by thousands of stone staircases that the local farmers hike up and down each day. On our experience of the rice terraces, we ride out of town on the top of local Jeepnies until we reach the first breathtaking view and begin to walk. As you make your way across the terraces, you feel like you're stepping back in time as the rice is still farmed the same way it has been for thousands of years. The lifestyle of the farmers reflects the peacefulness of the setting as after our first day of trekking, we spend a night in a secluded guesthouse with a view so captivating that you'll spend your entire morning just admiring the place you've found yourself in. The second day of hiking requires a climb and the hundreds of steps may feel more like a fitness test than part of a vacation but upon reaching the top, you'll be completely invigorated by an amazing waterfall that'll cap off an incredible experience that showcases some of the great beauty that the Philippines has to offer.

Trek through a Tropical Jungle

Now we don't want to fool you, a jungle is an unforgiving setting to hike through - there is thick vegetation, overwhelming heat, leeches and an untold amount of other creatures lurking around. But there is also an extreme beauty that lies within the power of a tropical jungle, a rainforest is full of life and every square foot is covered in something interesting and unique! You'll experience true adventure when you trek through a jungle and even if you're tired, dirty and fending off insects when you're doing it, you'll be proud of yourself when you finish!

On our LTC trip, we go on a 3-day jungle trek in Northern Thailand that includes an amazing array of activities (including Riding an Elephant and Riding a Bamboo Raft down a River). We camp in tribal villages at night - eating with them, seeing how they live and tasting their not-so-delicious-but-potent "happy water" (rice moonshine). We sleep in a massive hut that fits the entire group and each morning we wake up, eat breakfast, shake off the happy water cobwebs and continue on our adventure. It's an experience that fully encompasses the trials and tribulations of trekking through a tropical jungle - from muddy uphill paths to utopian waterfalls!

Wat Pho Temple Tour *

Enjoy the chance to explore Wat Pho alongside a knowledgeable local guide for a peek inside ancient and modern Thai culture. This Buddhist temple complex located in Bangkok is one of city’s oldest temples, having been established before Bangkok itself. It houses over 1000 Buddha images, making it the largest collection of Buddha relics in all of Thailand. This includes the statue that Wat Pho is most famous for: an enormous 49 meter-long golden statue of a Reclining Buddha. The Buddha’s feet alone are 3 meters high. It is probably one of the grandest sites you will behold in all of the city. On an interesting side note, Wat Pho is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage, which is still taught and practiced at the temple. If you have the time, ask your guide to tell you Bangkok’s real name…it’s the longest city name on Earth! *****Please note: Not included on the following trips: A Backpackers Dream, Share the Love and The World's Greatest Waterfight

Catch a Fish and Eat It, Too

We get so many people who come on our trips that say they don't like seafood and won't eat it - usually, they're not from a coastal town. So when we serve up a fresh barracuda or tuna or some other tasty fish that the fisherman caught that morning and we convince them to give it a try, the first thing they say (with a satisfied smile) is that this doesn't taste like the seafood they've tried. There's just no getting around it, fish is meant to be eaten fresh! And the only thing tastier than a fresh fish is one that you caught, too! Catching the fish that you eat used to be a part of life and still is in many parts of the world, however, more and more people are buying from the commercial fishing industry which is unsustainable and is destroying the ocean's eco-system. We offer the option to go fishing on nearly all of our trips with friendly, local fisherman that show you their tricks - it's an experience that not only teaches you the importance of fishing but is also a hell of a good time: on a boat, with friends, with beer, in the sun, drifting down a tropical coastline… 'nuff said!

Have One Night in Bangkok

There a lot of incredible cities in the world, but there is only one Bangkok. The main jumping point for virtually every person traveling through Southeast Asia, Bangkok is full of people from all over the world and there is something for everyone in this massive, colourful city. And the temples, markets and shopping are sure all nice and dandy, but most "memories" that come from Bangkok are created after you have that first Chang beer or Sangsom bucket set, because after that really anything is possible! We won't get into the details of what all happens in Bangkok because everyone will have their own story to tell after a night of partying in a city filled with all-night clubs, street-side bucket stands and essentially an adult "playground" everywhere you look. It's a common feeling to wake up in Bangkok, have no idea what time it is and try to figure out if what you remember happening the night before was a dream or if it really did all happen!

Practice Yoga on the Beach

Practicing yoga on the beach in warm, tropical weather provides you with the perfect environment to learn how to find a calm within yourself and feel your mind truly relax. Listening to the sounds of the jungle and the crashing of the waves on shore only adds to the bliss of this experience. You can experience practicing yoga in a beautiful and isolated setting under the expert guidance of yoga instructors on several of our our trips. So take an hour or so out of your day to stretch, breathe and enjoy one of the best yoga sessions of your life in paradise!

Bathe Under a Waterfall

When leaving home and hitting the road with your backpack, one thought you may have in mind is that you're not going to have another good shower for awhile. In most parts of the world water pressure is lower, there is often no hot water and you just can't seem to scrub off that distinct backpacker odour. However, there is one place where hundreds of gallons of refreshing fresh water can pour all over you in a surreal bathing experience and that spot is found at the bottom of a waterfall. When hiking around jungles, one of our favourite things to search out is a good tropical waterfall where you can swim, relax, and get right under it and let the huge torrent of water pour all over you and wash you clean! But the best part is often the simple sight of the waterfall itself, because for whatever reason there are few things in the world we find more captivating to watch than water dropping from great heights. Maybe it's because nothing falls with the grace of water, but either way it's an amazing feeling to come upon a gorgeous waterfall in the jungle and head straight into its downpour for the best shower of your life!

Go Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is still a relatively young sport and gaining participants with great momentum. Learn to SUP with easy, progressive and fun SUP lessons in Cape Town on calm water or in the waves at Muizenberg. You will learn how to safely SUP in waves in the shallow beach break in Muizenberg, internationally recognized ideal spot for learning Stand Up Paddle Boarding and Surfing.

Go Snorkelling

Snorkelling is a great alternative for those looking to save a little money on diving costs or those who can’t dive for medical reasons. Floating along the surface of the water at any one of our incredible destinations around the world will give you a peak into a magical underwater world. More confident snorkelers can even dive down to get a closer look at the fauna and flora found in our oceans. From glittering fish, to colourful anemone, and super cool sharks (don’t worry, the non-carnivorous ones), snorkelling is a wonderful experience for the non-diver. So snap on a mask and grab your flippers (and DON’T inhale while diving) and you’ll be all set for a little adventure under the sea.

Slowboat the Mekong River

Imagine: You’re on a slowboat on the Mekong River along the border of Laos and Thailand, there are palm trees swaying in the wind, deep rushes all around you, and your friends, new and old, are there enjoying it right alongside you. This is what the best travel day on our LTC looks like! On the 12th longest river in the world, a wonderful local Laos family runs the private boat and you can spend the day playing cards, listening to music, writing, reading...whatever you want, whenever you want! With places to sit, tables, beds, and three meals included (score!) you’ll hardly realize that you actually spent the day getting from one country to another.

Tubing Party in Vang Vieng

The (in)famous party that really put Vang Vieng on the backpacker map is impossible to leave off our LTC trip! Get dressed up in whatever wacky hilarious costumes you can find and hang on! With riverside bars spotted along the tube ride, various games like beer pong, flip cup, mudpit volleyball, sprinkler basketball, and dance parties galore, you’ll be glad you came. Try a selection of interesting drinks from rice whiskey to Laotian beers to fruity slushies. We take a tuk-tuk to the start of the tubing and ride the river back into town before the sun goes down. Some bars give out free shots on arrival and a string bracelet that can be used to redeem a shot at their bar in town later that night, just to make sure you’re having a good time!

Traditional Cambodian Dance Show

Hop in a tuk-tuk with your TFFs and head to a Cambodian dance show featuring Apsara dancing, a form of classic Khmer dance that was performed for the King and Royal families. In their traditional dress the dancers portray old myths and religious stories backed by a band of drums and other traditional instruments. Plus, a buffet dinner is included in the price! With a salad bar, pastas, sushi, asian noodle and rice dishes, spring rolls, soup, fruit, and of course dessert, you won’t be going home hungry. Then it’s a walk back through the market to keep the magic of Cambodia all around you throughout the evening.

Buy Everything in Bangkok

A trip to Thailand is not complete without a day spent shopping in Bangkok. Whether male, female, or a bit of both, there’s something for everybody in this crazy city! From the infamous street markets to the luxurious malls to the seemingly infinite amount of random market stalls, you can literally buy everything in Bangkok! Get right into it and sift through boxes of knock-off designer jeans, check out the funky tee’s created by local artists, find piles and piles of rad shoes. Hit the electronics and find every movie ever made or cheap cellphones, computer software and old video games. Peruse the knick-knacks and score samurai swords, unique art, Buddha carvings, and homemade jewellery. Wanna get fancy? Get anything you want tailor-made, from suits to jackets to shoes or hit up the gold jewellery stores and find that perfect piece! Or head to some of the nicest malls in the world and find every brand-name you want. The favourable exchange rate and generally cheap prices make shopping a fun, interesting and incredibly lucrative experience when in Bangkok! When you’re finally all done, relax with a well-deserved beer or park your keester in the cinema and enjoy the massive screens and comfy chairs for just a few bucks. How can anyone not love a stopover in Bangkok!?

Zip Lining

Experience the rush of adrenaline as you step off the platform, the wind in your face as you begin to speed up, leafy branches whipping by until you burst into a sweeping view of the surrounding landscape…feel like you’re flying yet? This is zip lining! It takes you to previously inaccessible parts of the country, from lush rainforests to tangled jungles. As you soar through and above the canopy, you get a bird’s eye view of everything around you for miles. While being up high in the sky isn’t for the faint of heart, zip lining takes you to a whole new world where you can sit back, relax, and zip along enjoying panoramas you probably couldn’t find anywhere else. It’s no surprise that when you come upon a group of zip liners there’s nothing but smiles and whoops of excitement as they travel from tree to tree and on to new adventures.

Beach Cleanup

Our Trash Hero beach cleanups are a great way to do good, feel good, and get some beach all at the same time. With thousands of tons of trash swirling around the oceans, the unfortunate reality is that some of it washes up onto the beautiful beaches we fall in love with around the world. So we thought ‘Let’s do something about this!’ Our partnership with Trash Hero began in Koh Lipe, Thailand, where they regularly organized beach cleanup days. Today, Trash Hero has gone viral and can be found operating in Thailand and Indonesia, and is spreading into dozens more countries at a rapid pace. On our end, beach cleanup day quickly became one of the most fun and rewarding days on our Thailand trip. So we decided to spread the love, and have instituted a beach cleanup day into our regular itineraries across the world. Through our sponsorship and partnership with Trash Hero, our travellers and others like them have since collected tens of thousands of kilograms of trash from the beaches we travel to…and really, there’s nothing more epic than saving the world!

Party for Prosthetics

Party for Prosthetics is one of our newest initiatives that turns the aluminum tabs from beer cans into prosthetic limbs for people in need, such as those who have been dismembered from injury, disease, or landmines. We have partnered with a Thai organization called The Prostheses Foundation that has been doing this since the early 90’s - when we realized how much we could help out just by saving our beer tabs we thought this was a real win-win! Through a combination of our beach bevvies, travel day sippy cups, and all-night ragers, we have been known to put away a few beers from time to time, and now we are turning these parties into prosthetic limbs! This initiative adds even more zest to each cheers, shotgun, and beer bong, and fills us with a sense of pride as we gather the tabs over the course of each trip and see buckets fill with valuable little pieces of metal that are going to change someone’s life!

Accommodations and Transportation

What's included in this adventure


  • Accommodation for the duration of your Free & Easy experience


  • All group travel between destinations
  • If you are doing multiple trips, all travel between trips is included
  • Return international flights and airport transfers*** (No surprise extra flight surcharges)

***Land Package prices do not include your international flight, airport taxes or transfers


  • 2 knowledgeable and fun Free & Easy leaders
  • 15 years of trip leading experience
  • No commissions or gratuities required or accepted... ever!
  • Preparations guidebook
  • Trip Experience guidebook

Activities: LTC (25 Days)

  • Transportation for a day of activities in Chiang Mai
  • Doi Suthep Temple Tour
  • Slowboat to Laos
  • Kuang Si Waterfall trip
  • 3-day Angkor Wat Pass (incl. one day guided tour)
  • 3-day Northern Thailand Hill Tribe Trek (ethical elephant encounter, bamboo rafting, and all meals incl.)

Activities: Philippines (Cloud 9)

  • 3 beach destinations & 2 surf destinations (Siargo and Catanduanes) Tons of surf breaks!
  • Two day trek through the Batad Rice Terraces (Waterfall hike, guides incl.)
  • Transportation to Waterfall and Viewpoint hike in Cantanduanes
  • Boat trip to see Whalesharks in Donsol (only March trip)
  • Boat trip to Naked Island (Incl. overnight stay at Sohoton, caving, swim with jellyfish*)


Meals: LTC (25 Days)

  • Traditional family style Thai dinner
  • All meals included on the 3-day Nothern Thailand Hill Tribe Trek
  • 3 meals inluced on the slowboat to Laos

Meals: Philippines (Cloud 9)

  • One Filipino style group dinner
  • Lunch at a national park after trek through the Batad Rice Terraces
  • All meals included on boat trip to Naked Island/Sohoton Island (1 breakfast, 2 lunch, 1 dinner)

Optional Activities: LTC (25 Days)

  • Hot Air balloon trip
  • Rock climbing
  • Cooking Class
  • Boat Trip
  • Muay Thai Fight
  • Kayak and Cave Trip
  • Bungee Jumping
  • Ziplining
  • Tubing in Vang Vieng 

Optional Activities: Philippines (Cloud 9)

  • Fishing
  • Yoga
  • Surfing lessons
  • Wake Boarding
  • Paddle Boarding

Not Included

  • All meals and drinks (except those mentioned above)
  • Activities outside of the ones listed above
  • Any Visa or Visa fees

Find out how much spending money you will need here.

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$4050 Flight options available*

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