02 - 12 October 2024

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Description

Embark on an enchanting journey through Laos, a land of ancient temples, stunning natural wonders, and vibrant local culture. 

Begin your exploration in the UNESCO-listed town of Luang Prabang, where the serene ambiance and rich heritage await. Marvel at the cascading beauty of Kuang Si Waterfall and the mystical Pak Ou Caves, and enjoy a speed train ride to the picturesque town of Vang Vieng. 

Dive into the heart of rural Laos with a kayaking adventure on the Nam Song River, weaving through scenic landscapes and encountering local villages along the way. Discover the capital city, Vientiane, with its blend of traditional and modern influences, then journey to Pakse to explore the ancient Vat Phou ruins, a testament to Laos’ rich history. 

Conclude your Laos odyssey with an exhilarating jeep tour on the Bolaven Plateau and a visit to a local village in the tranquil 4,000 Islands region, offering a glimpse into the authentic rural life of Laos.

Summary

Day 1

Luang Prabang - Arrival

Namkhan Resort / Namkhan Tent Room

Day 2

Luang Prabang

Namkhan Resort / Namkhan Tent Room

Day 3

Luang Prabang

Namkhan Resort / Namkhan Tent Room

Day 4

Luang Prabang - Vang Vieng

Riverside Boutique Resort / Deluxe Room

Day 5

Vang Vieng

Riverside Boutique Resort / Deluxe Room

Day 6

Vang Vieng - Vientiane

Lao Poet Hotel / Urban Classic Exclusive Room

Day 7

Vientiane - Pakse - Champasak

The River Resort / Deluxe Riverfront Villa Room

Day 8

Champasak

The River Resort / Deluxe Riverfront Villa Room

Day 9

Champsak - 4 000 Island

Pon’s Arena Hotel / Mekong Suite Room

Day 10

4 000 Island

Pon’s Arena Hotel / Mekong Suite Room

Day 11

4 000 Island - Vientiane

Lao Poet Hotel / Urban Classic Exclusive Room

Day 12

Vientiane - Departure

Itenerary

Day 1

Luang Prabang – Arrival

Fast Track Visa service

Welcome to Laos. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by our representative who will assist you in the process of a VIP fast track visa. Afterwards, meet your private guide and driver and transfer to your hotel. 

(Note: Please prepare your passports, plus one passport-sized photo per person and hand them to our representative. This process will save you around 45 minutes compared to obtaining the Lao visas on arrival yourselves).

Day 2

Luang Prabang

City Tour

This morning (8.30 am) after breakfast, you will meet your guide at the lobby of the hotel and explore this historic and charming heritage town by car. Transfer to begin your journey at the most popular of temples – Wat Xieng Thong. This 500-year-old temple is exquisite and is the best example of the classic Luang Prabang style. You will also visit nearby Wat Mai and Wat Sene.

From here, explore some local and interesting small side streets, along back alleys and through temples – a city that could have been designed with slow travel in mind, this tour allows you to soak up the ambiance and appreciate the hidden charms of Luang Prabang. Through your guide, feel free to ask the locals questions as they go about their daily lives. 

Continue wandering up the peninsula, stopping at temples and other sites as you wish. Visit the National Museum, which is the former Royal Palace. Relics from Laos’ royalist past remain here. 

Then continue to visit the Ock Pop Tok, one of our Cultural Ambassadors and learn the process of silkworm to textile, you will see how natural dyes are made and learn about traditional Lao weaving techniques and patterns. Afterwards, Visit the historical Heuan Chan Heritage House , taking in its historical and architectural charms, you will continue to visit Wat Khili.

Overlooking the palace is Phousi Mountain. It is said that those who do not climb the 328 steps up have not really made it to the city. Venture up the hill and be rewarded with remarkable views of the area.

Day 3

Luang Prabang

Half day Excursion Kuang Si waterfalls

This morning (8.30 am) after breakfast, you’ll meet your guide at the lobby of your hotel, then private transfer to travel south of town to the Kuang Si Waterfall with a stop to visit the Buffalo Dairy Farm, known for their sustainable approach to local farming. 

This includes: A guided tour of the farm & information on how they work with the local community, Buffalo feeding & bathing, Milking demonstration, Feeding chickens, pigs and rabbits, Bottle feeding calves. Relax in the café and enjoy the ‘cake of the day’ served with ice cream and tea or coffee

At the falls, crystal waters cascade into idyllic turquoise pools. Bring a bathing suit if you would like to swim! Also take time to visit the nearby Sunbear Refuge to learn more about the poaching of these endangered creatures.

Pak Ou Caves

In the afternoon, private transfer to the Pak Ou Caves, a mystical pilgrimage site perched high above the Mekong River 27 miles outside of Luang Prabang. On the way to Pak Ou Caves you will stop at some local villages. 

One of the villages is a wonderful silk weaving village called Ban Sang Khong. The weaving techniques employed in Ban San Khong date back many centuries and are used to create some of Asia‘s most highly prized textiles. Some villagers are also engaged in Sa Paper production.

After a brief stop, continue your tour to Ban Pak Ou, where you will board a boat to reach the Pak Ou caves. Peering into dark corners, your eyes gradually adjust to reveal the serene faces and figures of more than 3,000 Buddha images, some inlaid with semiprecious stones. That these images remain undisturbed in this remote site in one of the world‘s poorest countries is a testament to the devotion of the people. 

Return by boat to Luang Prabang, cruising along the Mekong River with the Sunset and enjoy the lush river life along its banks while sipping a drink and tasting some Lao snacks.

Day 4

Luang Prabang – Vang Vieng

After check-out (11.30 pm), you will meet your guide at the lobby of the Hotel, then private transfer to Luang Prabang Railway Station for the Speed train to Vang Vieng by C91 (First class), departing at 13:20 PM, and arriving at 14:24 PM.

On arrival in Vang Vieng, you will meet your guide and then private transfer to your Hotel for check-in and relaxation.

Day 5

Vang Vieng

The Different Facets of Vang Vieng (Private)

Today you will be introduced to Vang Vieng and its different facets. At 09.00 AM you will be picked up by a local English Speaking Guide heading to the North of Vang Vieng to start with a leisurely kayaking trip on the Nam Song River, which flows along with stunning cast stone formations. 

After about 1 hour, you will reach a local Kamu village where you will explore the Village of Khmu and Lao all living together. Visit one of the neighbors who is a knife smith who uses techniques that have been used for generations on how to create a new knife for his daily income. You can have a chance to try this.

From here you will continue to one of the Khmu families where you will be welcomed by a typical Kamu lunch in the family’s garden. (If the weather is not good, lunch will be served in the house). Here you will also learn the traditions and culture of animism that is practiced by many ethnic minorities in Laos. 

After spending some time chatting with the family, you will also learn how the local rice wine, “Lao Hai” is produced. Later in the afternoon, your guide will lead you through rice paddies to a cave on the other side of the river, passing by farmers working on the fields. 

On the way back to the village, you will be taking a rest in one of the local rice huts and trying some of the rice wine, while learning more about the importance of agriculture in Laos.

Once the set slowly sets, we continue back to the village and you will be transferred back to your Hotel.

Day 6

Vang Vieng – Vientiane

This morning (8.30 am) after breakfast, you will meet your guide at the lobby of the Hotel, and then be taken by private transport to Vientiane. On arrival, private transfer to visit Wat Sisaket, the only structure to survive the Siamese invasion of 1828 that are still intact.

Across the street, sits Wat Ho Pha Kheo, reconstructed in the 1930s on the site of the original building. It housed the Emerald Buddha, which now lives in Bangkok and is now the home to a line collection of Lao artistry.

A short journey up Lane Xang street allows you a glimpse into the changing face of the city. Amongst the more modern structures are Patuxai and the Lao Victory Monument. Also visit Wat That Luang with its central lotus-bud spire and 30 surrounding stupas – the most sacred structure in all of Laos. 

Wat Si Muang is a much more vibrant example of living Buddhism. This sacred temple is used by the Lao people for everything, from women trying to become pregnant, to new car owners having monks bless their new purchases. 

Also pay a visit to the COPE Visitor Centre for a moving insight into the Secret War which left Laos as the most heavily bombed country in history.

Overnight at Lao Poet Hotel, Urban Classic Exclusive Room

Day 7

Vientiane – Pakse – Champasak

In the morning (9.30 am), you will meet your guide at the lobby of the Hotel, then private transfer to the airport for your flight to Pakse.

Vientiane – Pakse Flight
Departure Arrival Airlines
11.55 am 12:55 pm Lao Airlines (QV 305)

 

The majestic UNESCO World Heritage Vat Phou ruins

Upon arrival in Pakse, you will meet your guide, then a private transfer visit to the ancient Wat Phou ruins. The partly grown Khmer temple complex dating from the sixth to the eighth century is older than Angkor Wat in Cambodia! Archaeologists suspect that Wat Phou ruins was at that time the power and religious center of the large Khmer Empire. 

And then transfer to your Hotel for your check-in and relaxation.

Day 8

Champasak

Jeep Tour on the Bolaven Plateau (Private)

Famed for its quality coffee, stunning waterfalls, temperate climate and fascinating ethnic cultures, the Bolaven Plateau makes for a scenic day trip. 

Meet your expert guide and transportation for the day, a vintage jeep ideal for the terrain you will cover, before setting off on a trail cutting ride through the plateau on a route rarely, if ever, visited by tourists.

First, you will stop to visit a number of interesting ethnic minority villages. Around lunchtime, you will arrive at your guide’s coffee plantation where you will enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal. 

Later, enjoy a walking tour of the fertile plantation where your guide will give you an insight into the coffee growing process from seed to cup before you can enjoy a fresh coffee yourself.

Day 9

Champasak – 4,000 Islands

Visit Local Village’s 4000 Island

After breakfast (8.30 am), private transfer by road to Don Khong, the biggest island in the 4000 islands for your check-in. After check-in, we will visit Ban Hinsiow, here we can see how local farmers are making palm sugar from palm juices, and also local fishes from the Fisherman

After lunch at a local restaurant, then we will go on a kayak to Ban Thapho and Kengkoum village to visit a temple mixed between Hindu and Buddhist statues before continuing to Don Peauy, stop on sand beach and visit a local farm of long bean, peanut, cucumber, pumpkin and watermelon plantation. Taste local drinks and snacks before returning back to the hotel by boat.

Overnight at Pon’s Arena Hotel, Mekong Suite Room

Day 10

4,000 islands

Cruise on Mekong River and Excursion to Don Kone Island

After breakfast (08.30 am), we take a short walk to the pier where your local boat is waiting for you, then a private cruise on the Mekong River for about 2 hours to the peaceful islands of Don Det and Don Khone. On the way, you can see there are small and larger islands, waving children, and also small boats of local people. 

Don Khone island consists practically only of rice fields, hills, vegetable gardens and small villages. On arrival on Don Khone Island, go an a private transfer by Tuk Tuk to explore Don Khone Island, your half-day exploration, you will go through rice paddies, small villages and organic gardens, and also visit the old narrow-gauge railway that was built by the French colonists before visiting the Li Phi Waterfalls. 

Li phi means ‘spirit trap’ in lao and many locals believe that the falls tend to catch wayward spirits and ghosts.

Fishing, Fairytales and BBQ (Private)

03:30 PM. This afternoon you will join one of the local fishermen to experience the 4000 Islands from the local perspective. Board one of the wooden boats and head out to the fishing grounds, equipped with some fishing nets which you can try to throw gently out into the water and try your luck to catch some fish for dinner.  Enjoy a cold drink while floating on the river, surrounded by small islands and birds that are about to settle for the night. 

At dusk continue to a secret spot where you will be welcomed by a crackling bonfire while enjoying the sunset and listen to fairytales and other local myths from your guide. 

Later in the evening a private BBQ with local specialties will be prepared for you, just how it is done in many villages around Laos. Then a short ferry to Nagasang pier, where your minivan is waiting for you to your Hotel.

Day 11

4,000 islands – Vientiane

09:00 AM, this morning after breakfast and check-Out, meet your guide and then private transfer to Pakse Airport for your flight to Vientiane.

Pakse – Vientiane Flight
Departure Arrival Airlines
13:35 pm 14:55 am Lao Airlines QV 306

 

On arrival in Vientiane, you will meet your guide holding a sign with your names on it, and private transfer to your hotel for check-in and relaxation.

Overnight at Lao Poet Hotel, Urban Classic Exclusive Room

Day 12

Vientiane – Departure

Two hours before your flight’s departure , you’ll meet your guide at the lobby of the Hotel, then private transfer to the airport for your flight onward to connect with your international flight home.

 

Pickup Point

Luang Prabang International Airport

Drop-off Point

Wattay Vientiane International Airport

Inclusions

    • All transfers and transport as per program
    • All accommodation as per program (based on double/twin sharing room)
    • Service of English speaking station guides
    • All meals as mentioned in the Itinerary
    • All entrance fees on tour
    • Tips

 

Non Inclusions

    • International Flights
    • Insurance
    • Personal expenses
    • All drinks
    • Visa fees and/or visa authorization
    • Other expenses not mentioned on the itinerary

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