The 14 Best Laos Day Tours You Should Know Before Traveling

Laos Travel presents a complete travel guide to the 14 best Laos day tours from five main tourism hubs of Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Phonsavan & Champasak. Besides the whole packages of Laos, it can’t be denied that a day trip in Laos which are arranged with air-conditioned private vehicles and an English-speaking local guide give tourists more flexibility and alternative to gain a deeper, more complete look at Laos nature, history and culture.

Day trips and short excursions in Laos are great options for travelers having a limited time or even extending their planned holidays in this hidden gem of South East Asia. Whether you want to experience Laos’ rich culture and history, meet the extremely friendly Laotian people or immerse into the country’s stunning landscape, there is a Lao private day tour that perfectly matches your demand!

I. Laos Day tours from Vientiane

1. Explore Vientiane Full Day & Buddha Park

Buddha Park

A 40m long giant reclining Buddha statue is the most prominent statue at Xieng Khuan aka Buddha Park.

A private tour to explore capital of Laos with insider knowledge of a tour guide will be an ideal choice to get an in-depth introduction to this capital of Laos, especially for first-time travelers. The day trip leads you to most destinations in Vientiane that should not be missed, such as holy golden That Luang monument, Wat Sisaket, Haw PhraKaew, Patuxay (or Arc de Triomphe) and Buddha Park (aka XiengKhuan) which is a famous sculpture park with more than 200 religious statues.

If time permits, you can also spend time for shopping around the Talat Sao market. We give you the flexibility during the trip according to the personal interests at each site for your most comfort.

2. History and Culture tours in Vientiane through visiting museums

Museums are good places for those who love to learn and understand more about the history and culture of the region and whole country. A day tour visiting popular museums in Vientiane is an suggested option. The first stop is at Lao National Museum which covers more than 850 artifacts from the nation’s heritage, culture, and history. Next, you visit Kaysone Phomvihane Museum which is served as a tribute to the first leader of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party.

Kaysone Phomvihane Museum

Kaysone Phomvihane Museum is a tribute to the first leader of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party.

Continue with Lao Textile Museum where contains a private collection of antique textiles, clackety old looms and spinners, lots of displays about tribal variations, the meaning of designs as well as the dyeing and weaving process. Last stop for today is COPE Visitor Center providing locals free access to prostheses, wheelchairs and physical therapy to improve the quality of life for bomb-affected citizens.

3. A day trip to Nam Ngum Lake from Vientiane

For those who love the peaceful and quiet settings, a day trip to Nam Ngum Lake – the largest lake in Laos which is initially part of Nam Ngum River, will be a worth to try. The lake is located about 90km north of Vientiane, en route between Vientiane and Vang Vieng. A long the way, you can take a stop at Vang Xang, a small archaeological site built in the 11th century to see a selection of Buddha images with many of original ones.

Nam Ngum Lake

Nam Ngum Lake is the largest lake in Laos, located on the way between Vientiane and Vang Vieng.

Take a one-hour boat trip on the pristine waters of the lake, hear about the dam which is used as a hydroelectric power station for the country and surrounding regions, then enjoy a traditional lunch as well as soak up the mountainous scenery. An interesting experience day to the rural side of Vientiane.

4. Trekking at Phou Khao Khouay National Park

Phou Khao Khouay National Park

Tad Xai or Tad Xay Waterfall at Phou Khao Khouay National Park which was declared a Protected Area in 1993.

Located about 40 km northeast of Vientiane, Phou Khao Khouay National Park was declared a Protected Area in 1993. Covering 2,000km2 stretching over Vientiane capital, Vientiane province and Bolikhamsay province, Phou Khao Khouay offers a beautiful scenery in the pristine Lao wilderness. For nature lovers, this destination is a must because of great nature walks, wildlife spotting and waterfalls. This is also a chance to visit Ban Na and Ban Hai Khai, traditional villages on the edge of the park, where you can get a glimpse of Lao traditional rural life.

II. Day Tours From Luang Prabang

5. Private Luang Prabang City Day Tour

Spend a day visiting Luang Prabang, the incredible UNESCO World Heritage site is a must when you are in this city as one of the top destinations for travelers to Laos. The experienced and friendly guide & driver will provide you the insider knowledge, from which you can learn about traditional architecture as well as colonial influences and deeply rooted religious traditions. Some of top attractions through this full day tour include Wat Xieng Thong, Royal National Museum and more.

Luang Prabang

A panoramic view of Luang Prabang City.

Joining Alms Giving ceremony in the early morning (~ 5.30-6am) or climbing Mount Phou Si for the panoramic view of Luang Prabang city; or spending your time at the Night Market or check out stunning views of the iconic Mekong River are also highly recommended options for your great experience.

6. A Relaxing Day at Kuang Si Waterfall

Kuang Si Waterfall

The Kuang Si Waterfall, also known as Tat Kuang Si or Tat Kuang Xi, is a famous waterfall located about 30 kilometers from Luang Prabang.

Are you interested in natural beauty? This day trip is for you with a 45-minute drive to Kuang Si Waterfall, one of favourite destinations in Luang Prabang. You can enjoy the beautiful scenery at top of Kuang Si or visit Bear Rescue Center then cool off with a swim beneath the falls. On the way, you have chance to visit some ethnic villages of H’Mong, Khmu and handicraft villages where provide a glimpse of local life in Laos.

7. Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Waterfall Day Tour or City tour

Pak Ou Caves

Nested along Mekong River, Pak Ou Caves is a sacred Buddhist place of Laos covering more than 4000 Buddha statues.

If you are planning to spend a day out of city, take this trip to Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Falls which cover the beauty and hidden wonders of Laos. Your will visit the Buddha-filled caves of Pak Ou along the Mekong River, then head to the stunning waterfalls of Kuang Si and cool off yourself with a swim there. During the trip, you can also visit a rural village to see rice wine making as well as to understand the local life there.
Otherwise, a combined tour with Luang Prabang City tour and Pak Ou Caves is also alternative option for a visiting day.

8. A Rice Journey in Luang Prabang or Elephant Village Sanctuary

Elephants in Laos

Elephant is the national animal, a symbol of prosperity and strength for people of Laos.

If you just want to spend a half day on tour, this can be a choice. With A Rice Journey, this half day trip gives you fun time and educational experience on the farm where you have chance to work on land like the natives and understand more a life of the farmer in Laos. While the trip to Elephant Village Sanctuary brings you the most comprehensive, hands-on experience and a rare chance to get up close to these magnificent animals. There is also longer experience for full day or two days with Elephant Village Sanctuary depending on your interest.

III. Day Tours From Vang Vieng, Phonsavan & Champasak

9. Vang Vieng: Biking to Visit Cave

Tham Chang, Vang Vieng

Tham Chang (Tham Jang) is considered as the most famous cave in Vang Vieng which includes both nature and history value.

Take the ride a bike on rural road to some key sites as: Tham Jung cave, the home for migrating people, who settled near the town’s southern Meuang Xong Village to rise vegetables. The locals stumbled into the cavern during the civil war, while seeking refuge deep in the forest. Next you head to Tham Phoukham cave, the country’s beautiful and famous limestone caverns surrounded by forest. Along the way, you will meet local villagers and learn about their daily lifestyle. There is a small natural pool called Blue Lagoon in front of the caves where you can swim and refresh yourself from the heat. A worthy day for your stay in Vang Vieng.

10. Vang Vieng: Kayaking – Tubing – Organic Farm

This outdoor day trip gives more adventurous feeling for those love active. Take kayaking along Song River which is suitable for all levels and offers some small rapids. The route includes the cave of Tham Nam Thaem that cuts straight through the mountain, so one emerges on the other side of the mountain range for amazing panoramic views of the Nam Kouang valley. Trek back over small trails that lead to a Lao style picnic lunch set up on the riverside.

Kayaking, Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng is an adventure paradise, and kayaking is one of interesting activities among these.

After lunchtime you continue to paddle to the Organic Farm where offers mulberry tea and a variety of fruit wines. Next stop is the Tham Non Cave which lies further downstream and is one of the biggest caves in Vang Vieng. The final leg is a gentle paddle – before returning to your hotel to end an amazing day.

11. Vang Vieng: Hot Air Balloon over Vang Vieng & Visit Around

Hot Air Balloon, Vang Vieng

Hot Air Balloon is operated in dry season in Vang Vieng, and you can choose morning or late afternoon time frame for this experience.

If you come in dry season, it is opportunity to experience a local hot air ballooning operator to enjoy amazing views from the above. This service can be taken in the early morning or late afternoon with a limited number of guests. Next, you will continue the day to visit around this small town including Tham Jang cave as the most famous one around Vang Vieng and Blue Lagoon to have fun activities such as swimming, jumping off from the tree into the water.

12. Phonsavan: The Old Capital Tour Combined with Plain of Jars

Plain of Jars, Phonsavan

Plain of Jars is one of the most important prehistoric sites in Southeast Asia, and the area officially became the 3rd World Cultural Heritage of Laos recognized by UNESCO in 2019.

This tour includes the exploration to the mysterious Plain of Jars which officially became a World Heritage Site in 2019 and the surrounding area such as local handcrafts, Ban Napia or the spoon village where people use the bomb scarfs to make jewelry, spoons etc. Next stop is on to Muang Khoun, the one place in the old provincial capital that was not been destroyed by American bombings.

13. Champasak: Bolaven Plateau Full-Day Tour from Pakse

Bolaven Plateau, Southern Laos

Bolaven Plateau is truly breathtaking feat of nature and home to a number of coffee plantations.

This private trip from Pakse gives you chance to discover the scenic natural wonders of the Bolaven Plateau. You can have great photos to the gorgeous cascades such as the Tad Lo, Tad Yuang or Tad Fane waterfalls. If you love coffee, this is also right place as Bolaven Plateau is home to a number of coffee plantations, so you can sample a best cup of Lao joe as well as have more information about coffee production and the lifestyles of the hill tribe people of southern Laos.

14. Champasak: A Half Day to World Heritage Site – Wat Phou from Pakse

Wat Phou, Champasak

Wat Phou has become 2nd World Heritage Site of Laos since 2001, after the town of Luang Prabang (1995).

For those who love both visit the highlight and relax or explore the area on your own styles, this half day tour is designed for you. It can take in the morning or afternoon, depending on your interest. Take a one-hour drive to Wat Phou, a ruined Khmer Hindu temple complex in southern Laos which has a unique structure and was designated a World Heritage Site in 2001.

In summary, our Laos day tours are perfect to fill the gaps in any Lao travel itinerary, showcase the best experiences to be had in this peaceful and charming nation. Your Lao day trips can be also 100% tailored to make your travel wishes come true. Contact our Laos Travel Team today to see how we can help you with your travel management needs.

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