Laos at Glance

Laos at Glance

Starts
Vientiane
Destinations
+ 1
Ends
Vientiane → Pakse → Luang Prabang

Highlights

  • Visit bizarre open-air sculpture Buddha park covering over 200 Hindu and Buddhist statues.
  • Experience rural laid-back life of Southern Laos.
  • Wander around Bolaven Plateau to get knowledge of how coffee and tea are produced.
  • Travel back in time at vibrant temples and interesting museum.
  • Cruise along mighty Mekong river to discover spiritual Pak Ou caves.
  • Soak your feet into emerald water of Kuang Si waterfall.
Age range
Under 87 year olds
Accommodation
3 / 4 / 5
Transportation

The trip takes you to Vientiane, Laos’ capital city to explore French architecture as well as beautiful, ornate Buddhist temples. Even though it is the country’s largest city, it has not lost its friendly and laid back character. Travel further to the South to experience laidback, sleepy, charming local life of Siphandone, nestled at the foot of Laos on the Cambodian border, and as the name suggests, consists of lots of tiny islands scattered in the vast Mekong Delta. Hike to Bolaven Plateau characterized by coffee and tea plantations and dramatic waterfalls surrounded by lush vegetation. Your trip ends in Luang Prabang, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated on the peninsula formed by the Mekong and the Nam Khan River, Luang Prabang is a perfect spot to unwind, eat good food and enjoy the scenery. This relatively small, palm fringed place is packed with fabulous colonial villas, top class restaurants, coffee shops and stunning Buddhist temples.

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Itinerary

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  1. Day 1: Vientiane Arrival.

    Welcome to Vientiane, Laos’ capital, an old French colonial trading post. This city is both abundant in French architecture as well as beautiful, ornate Buddhist temples. Even though it is the country’s largest city, it has not lost its friendly and laid back character.
    Meet your guide and we drive to hotel for check in (check in time: 14:00).
    Meals: Not Available.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Vientiane.

  2. Day 2: Vientiane – City Tour.

    We have a day to explore Vientiane- the charming and fascinating capital of Laos, one of the classic Indochinese cities which conjure up exotic images, with its intriguing mix of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, American and Soviet influences. Our visit will take you to the key sites: Wat Sisaket the city ‘s oldest surviving temple with thousands of silver and porcelain images in the gloriously authentic temple compound that offers you a glimpse into the Vientiane of the past, the next stop is Haw Phra Kaeo. This large temple is beautiful both interior and exterior, it was built to house the famed Emerald Buddha in courtyards filled with frangipani trees. Next is the visit Pha That Luang, the giant golden stupa is a sight to see as the bright gold holds a sharp contrast to the pure blue sky. Then you will go to climb the Arc De Triomphe of Laos, Patuxai. The massive arch has a beautiful mosaic tiled ceiling and once at the top you can see for miles around Vientiane. In the afternoon we visit Buddha Park, also known as Xieng Khuan (as well as other variations of the spelling), is a sculpture park located 25 km southeast from Vientiane.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Vientiane.

  3. Day 3: Vientiane – Fly to Pakse – Wat Phou Ruins – Bolaven Plateau.

    We take a morning flight to Pakse, the city of old French Colonial Buildings, Vietnamese quarter, Buddhist and Chinese temples and an old Catholic church, or you can sit and have a freshly brewed Bolaven Coffee or Lao tea while watching people and life go by. On arrival, meet our guide then we head to visit unique Wat Phou temple of Khmer of Wat Phou ruin the majestic pre-Angkorian 10th century temple complex. You have time to take a look at the museum at the ruins site, walk up to the highest temple and take as many photos as you would like.
    After lunch we drive to Bolaven Plateau, a mountainous region home to dozens of hill tribes, waterfalls and coffee and tea plantations. 
    Drive to Tad Lo Waterfalls, a beautiful formation of three separate falls.
    From the bridge you will first see Tad Hang and then Tad Lo in the distance. The most impressive of the three, Tad Suong, is located a further 10km upriver. After exploring the falls and their surroundings continue through the Plateau. Stay overnight at Tadlo Lodge.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Bolaven Plateau.

  4. Day 4: Bolaven Plateau – Don Khong.

    After breakfast we continue to Tad Yuang and Tad Fane waterfalls. Tad Fane is a set of
    twin 120-meter high waterfalls formed by the merging waters of the Champy and Pak
    Koot rivers. These impressive falls are situated on the edge of Dong Hua Sao protected area, 38 km from Paksé. We drive further to the South (around 4 hours) to reach to Don Khong, the largest island of Siphandone. Check in hotel, rest of the day is free at leisure.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Don Khong.

  5. Day 5: Don Khong – 4000 islands – Pakse.

    Today we explore the backwater life of Siphandone. During the rainy season, the Mekong River reaches a breadth of 14 kms, the river’s widest reach along its 4,350 km journey from the Tibetan Plateau towards the East Sea (Bien Dong); when the river recedes, it leaves behind thousands of islands and islets.
    At Ban Nakasang pier we take a short boat trip to visit the surrounding islands of Done Det and Done Som for a glimpse into the traditional lifestyle of the fishermen. Continue to Done Khone Island and hike along its ancient railway built by the French in 1897 in order to bypass the powerful rapids when transporting goods from Cambodia. Continue to the Sumphamith Waterfall (Liphi Waterfall). Continue by car to visit the magnificent Khone Phapheng Waterfall, the largest cascade along the Mekong River. A fault line caused the cascade, which is 6 km wide at this point, and the astonishing force of the water has cut dramatic gorges through the brittle bedrock.
    Drive back to Pakse, on the way we stop at Phou Salao view point for overview of this quaint city.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Pakse.

  6. Day 6: Pakse – Fly to Luang Prabang.

    Enjoy last free day in Pakse then we fly to Luang Prabang profoundly influenced by the French, unquestionably earns the title of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, this exquisite town in Laos is not to be missed under any circumstances. Situated on the peninsula formed by the Mekong and the Nam Khan River, Luang Prabang is a perfect spot to unwind, eat good food and enjoy the scenery. This relatively small, palm fringed place is packed with fabulous colonial villas, top class restaurants, coffee shops and stunning Buddhist temples. It’s a perfect destination if you are in the process of deciding where to travel in Laos.
    Meet you guide and be transferred to hotel for check in. Rest of the day is free at leisure.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang.

  7. Day 7: Luang Prabang – Sightseeing.

    Today we take a trip around the ancient city to visit the most highlights. We begin with Royal Palace Museum, was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family. Continue our trip to Wat Mai, the largest and most richly decorated of the temples in Luang Prabang. Then head to the magnificent Wat Xiengthong - representative of classic Laotian architecture.
    In the afternoon we ride to visit the unique Wat Visoun, entirely rebuilt after its destruction in 1887 by the invading Black Flags from southern China. In the courtyard of Wat Visoun stands the Watermelon Stupa, which is shaped like the fruit it takes its name from. Then head to the excellent Arts and Ethnology Center which will give you further insight into the ethnic mix and culture of Laos. Later that day, we adjourn to the Phousi hill to enjoy the marvelous panoramic views of the town at sunset.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang.

  8. Day 8: Luang Prabang – Alms giving – Kuang Si Waterfall.

    This morning you will wake up early (05:30 AM) and take participate in the daily early morning ritual of saffron-clad monks with their black Alms-giving bowls being given offerings from the local people, including the ubiquitous sticky rice. Back to hotel for breakfast.
    After refreshment, we explore Ock Pop Tok craft living center overlooking the Mekong river, set in a tropical Mekong garden. Meaning “east meets west”, Ock Pop Tok brings the fascinating world of traditional Lao handicrafts alive for visitors. Continue our trip to the morning Phosi Market where you will see exotic things as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings.
    Laos is also known for its traditional crafts, and today you will take a walk to visit the Ban Ouay, Hmong Hill tribe and Ban Ou, Lowland Lao. Continue driving to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall where you can splash around in the pools or walk along the forest paths. You are free to visit the Bear Rescue Centre which relies solely on partners, corporate sponsors and donations from the public. Buying T shirt or other merchandise is highly recommended to fund this preservation. Back to the old town to relax.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang.

  9. Day 9: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Caves – Craft Villages.

    Take a morning cruise along the Mekong River, about two hours upstream from the centre of Luang Prabang, and discover the numerous Buddha images at Pak Ou Caves. Pak Ou (mouth of the Ou river) includes the Tham Ting (lower cave) and the Tham Theung (upper cave) are caves overlooking the founder name Mekong River. They are a group of caves on the right side of the Mekong River. It is then only a short distance from the caves to the village of Ban Xang Hai to learn about Lau Lao (Lao whisky) and Lau Hai (Lao wine).
    Move to Ban Xang Khong where the Lue peoples of this village are noted in particular for Saa paper, which is paper made from fast-growing mulberry bark naturally shed by the tree. The paper is beautiful and durable, made into notebooks, scrapbooks, gift bags, cards, lanterns, fans, boxes and art with designs painted in gold.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang.

  10. Day 10: Luang Prabang Departure.

    Have breakfast at the hotel then enjoy free time before driving to the airport to catch your departure flight home.
    Meal: Breakfast.
    Have a good journey & See you again!

Detailed services

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  • Accommodation

    Rated Excellent by past passengers

      Note:
      All the hotels/ cruise are subject to availability and can be changed. In case any of the listed hotels are fully booked, alternatives of equivalence will be taken.
    1. Guide

      Rated Excellent by past passengers

      English Speaking Tour Guide (other language on request).

    2. Meals

      Rated Excellent by past passengers

      Daily breakfast at hotel.

    3. Transport

      Rated Excellent by past passengers

      Private transportation with A/C.

    • Flights

      Vientiane - Pakse by Laos Airline.
      Pakse - Luang Prabang by Laos Airline.


      Note:
      Please note that airfares are subject to availability and to change without notice

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    Price Includes

    • Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels.
    Domestic flights: Vientiane - Pakse - Luang Prabang.
    • Private tours, transfers and all services as mentioned in the itinerary.
    • Services of a private driver and air-conditioned vehicles.
    • Service of English speaking guides in every location.
    • Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited.
    • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary.

    Price Excludes

    • International flights.
    • Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary.
    • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels.
    • Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
    • Tips for guides and drivers.
    • Personal travel insurance.
    • Laos Visa (more at www.laostravel.com/visa).


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