Postponed due to Covid-19.  

Thailand and Laos Textiles Tour
30 Oct – 11 Nov 2020

Back-strap loom weaving, patchwork and applique, batik, kheuapiad (jungle vine) fibre, natural dyeing, silk weaving, basketry, traditional ethnic costumes, a private textile collection, textile galleries, fabulous textile markets, artisan studios, textile villages, temples, spectacular scenery, a riverboat cruise on the Mekong, delicious local cuisine and the gentle, generous hospitality for which Thailand and Laos are known. Plus so much more!

retreat|recreate is delighted to offer this 13 day/12 night women’s tour exploring northern Thailand and Laos through the lens of their superb traditional textiles and handcrafts.

Our journey begins in Chiang Mai, the buzzing capital and “rose” of Northern Thailand and takes us to several tiny less-known handcraft villages off the tourist trail, past riverside towns (observed from our slow-boat along the Mekong), through landscapes featuring soaring mountains and craggy karsts, to beautiful, UNESCO World Heritage listed Luang Prabang, the centre of Buddhism in Laos.

We’ll visit the handcraft villages of several culturally diverse ethnic minority groups, observe traditional artisans at work, deepen our knowledge at textile galleries and cultural museums, shop at fabulous, colourful textile markets and explore serene temples and cultural sites along the way.

We are privileged to participate in SIX!! hands-on handcraft activities: we’ll weave with the Dara-Ang on a back-strap loom, stitch Lisu-style embroidery and patchwork with the Lisu village women, create our own Hmong batik panel, explore Tai Lue traditional natural dyeing and colour our own scarf, weave a silk place-mat using traditional supplementary weft techniques and craft a Khmu-style bamboo basket.

Engage directly with local artisans and craftspeople, be inspired by traditional designs and motifs, marvel at superb craftsmanship, be in awe of stunning temples and breath-taking landscapes, experience wonderful traditional culture and be humbled by the gentle and generous hospitality for which Thailand and Laos are known.

We hope you’ll join us for this immersive foray into the stunning textiles and handcrafts of northern  Thailand and Laos!


  • Twin share: price of the rescheduled tour is yet to be confirmed.
  • Single supplement: To be confirmed (does not apply to village homestay on day 4)
  • Note:  Please expect a price increase as tour operators, suppliers and venues will impose their annual price increase as well as expenses related to additional Covid-related measures.


  • 13 days/12 nights accommodation (please refer to Things to Note)
  • Arrival airport transfer
  • 12 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners (drinks not included)
  • Transport: private coach, river boat, tuk-tuk
  • Hands-on handcraft workshops and  activities
  • Entrance to museums, galleries, studios, villages and excursion venues as per the itinerary
  • Services of a local English-speaking tour leader and retreat|recreate host


  • International airfares
  • Travel insurance
  • Early check in or late check out
  • Departure transfers
  • Personal spending (souvenirs, phone, laundry etc)
  • Meals and drinks not specified in the itinerary
  • Activities marked as optional
  • Tips


  • Single place numbers are limited
  • A deposit of AUD $1000 is required to secure your booking
  • The balance will be due approximately 70 days prior to departure

Things to note:

  • The hands-on handcraft activities included in this itinerary are not formal classes with trained teachers. They’re more about genuine person to person interactions, cultural exchange and learning directly from authentic, traditional artisans at their work place, village or home, in their own style.
  • retreat|recreate strives to offer culturally, environmentally and economically sustainable tours. To this end, we: engage local guides; partner with a wholesale tour operator whose values align with ours; patronise organisations and co-operatives that return all profits directly to their local community; support fair trade and non-government organisations providing vocational training, experience and rehabilitation to disadvantaged groups and communities, particularly those that empower women and girls to earn an income through the production of traditional handcrafts.
  • Our accommodation on this tour includes several 3.5 and  4 star hotels, a stunning community operated eco-lodge and a fascinating village homestay experience.
  • our maximum group size on this trip is 12 women.
  • Is this trip right for you? Please carefully and realistically consider your mobility, fitness and health when determining if this trip is right for you. All travellers need to be in good physical health to participate fully on this trip. The itinerary is a full one to ensure value for money, however there are some free periods. Participants need to be able to navigate arrival and departure airports without personal assistance, carry their luggage for short distances, embark and disembark coaches and boats without assistance, manage flights of stairs without assistance, undertake walking tours including walking on uneven ground and possibly in warm to hot weather, stand for periods of time in galleries and museums.
  • retreat|recreate’s tour groups comprise women from all over the globe and embrace all ages (over 18), ethnicities, orientations and personalities. Flexibility and a sense of humour are essential when travelling as part of a group.

To request the Information Pack (itinerary, bookings form etc) for this tour or register an Expression of Interest for any of our other tours, please email us via the contact page.