Laos Essential

Laos Essential

Starts
Luang Prabang
Destinations
+ 2
Ends
Pakse
Luang Prabang → Vientiane → Pakse

Highlights

  • Admire Alms Giving ceremony – A very attractive activity of Theravada Buddhism.
  • Visit Wat Xieng Thong and many beautiful temples of Luang Prabang.
  • Kuang Si waterfall – one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Laos.
  • Discover beautiful caves of Vang Vieng.
  • Join the elephant tour to see daily life of elephants.
  • Visit ancient temples and golden stupa in Vientiane.
  • Wat Phu Ruins – A world heritage site.
  • Majestic waterfall of Khone Phapheng and 4000 island area.
Age range
Accommodation
3 / 4 / 5
Transportation

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Itinerary

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  1. Day 1: Luang Prabang Arrival.

    Welcome 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 (check in time from 14:00).
    Meals: Not Available.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang.

  2. Day 2: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Caves – City Tour.

    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 LauLao (Lao whisky) and LauHai (Lao wine).
    Move to Ban Xangkhong 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.
    After lunch we enjoy a tour 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 Xieng Thong - representative of classic Laotian architecture. 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.

  3. Day 3: Luang Prabang – Alms Giving – Khuang 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.

  4. Day 4: Luang Prabang – Vang Vieng – Organic Farm.

    After breakfast and refreshment, we check out and take a drive to Vang Vieng (6 hours), a little charming town settle on the bank of Nam Song river with karst mountain backdrop. Arrive, check in and head to organic farm to get knowledge of natural materials & traditional methods for growing crops & raising animals, without using chemicals or artificial fertilizers. Back to hotel to relax.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Vang Vieng.

  5. Day 5: Vang Vieng – Kayaking – Sightseeing.

    Today we discover the nature beauty of Vang Vieng. We will be transferred shortly to the Khmu village of Viengsamay about 10 km north of Vang Vieng. From here we paddle downstream the Nam Song River.
    We drive to visit 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. Then we do the zipline for about one hour to enjoy fascinating scenery.
    Next we head to Tham Jang 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.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Vang Vieng.

  6. Day 6: Vang Vieng – Elephant Sanctuary Half Day – Vientiane.

    A half-day package to the Vang Vieng Elephant Sanctuary offers visitors an enjoyable opportunity to spend quality time with elephants in their natural home, as well as gain an insight into their history and behavior, and create cherished lifelong memories of their time spent with these amazing animals.
    Visitors to the Sanctuary will also be privileged enough to meet and interact with (members of the) local Laos people, and witness stunning views of the surrounding jungle and mountains – All while interacting personally with friendly, happy elephants in a safe and sustainable environment. On the morning of your visit, you will be picked up from your place of accommodation and will drive for approximately 1 hour(s) through scenic agricultural areas, hills, and forest, before arriving at the Sanctuary. There, you will meet your English-speaking guide and learn a little about the elephants, Laos traditional food and fresh fruit.
    After being allocated bananas and sugar cane to feed to the elephants, you will walk with your guide through the Sanctuary, where you will find free-roaming elephants and hear their individual stories. You can touch, feed, photograph, and interact with the elephants at your leisure while you learn about their lifestyle and behaviors. After meeting all the elephants, you will accompany them to a nearby mud spa. Get muddy with the elephants as you apply a healthy cosmetic mud treatment to their skin. Next, you will walk with the elephants to a nearby river and join them in the water for a refreshing bath. Take a swim and help bathe and brush the elephants while they wade through and play in the water.
    Once the elephants are clean, you can take some final photos with them, and then it will be time to part ways with your new friends and change into some dry clothes. Finally, (there will be time to) eat some snacks and seasonal fresh fruit, before enjoying once again the impressive rural scenery as you drive back to Vang Vieng.
    Drive to Vientiane (4 hours), capital of Laos, arrive and check in.
    Meals: Breakfast and Lunch.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Vientiane.

  7. Day 7: Vientiane – City Tour.

    Transfer to airport for flight to Vientiane, we have a day to explore Vientiane- the charming and fascinating capital of Laos, one of the classic Indo Chinese 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.

  8. Day 8: Vientiane – Fly to Pakse – Wat Phou Ruins – Bolaven Plateau – Pakse.

    We take a morning flight to Pakse, if you wander around a little, you’ll soon discover old French Colonial Buildings, a 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 your guide and drive 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. On the summit of the mountain is a 15 meters high monolith, which is the main reason for the site of the temple as this is a natural lingam or symbol of the Hindu god Shiva.
    Head to Bolaven Plateau, a mountainous region home to dozens of hill tribes, waterfalls and coffee and tea plantations. Our first stop is Tad Fane waterfalls, 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 continue to impressive Tad Yuang waterfall with its twin torrents falling about 40 meters and flowing into lush jungle. Back to Pakse for overnight.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Pakse.

  9. Day 9: Pakse – 4000 Island – Don Khong.

    Today we driver further to the South (about 4 hours) for a short along the backwaters to explore 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 to Don Khong, the largest island for overnight.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Don Khong.

  10. Day 10: Don Khong – Pakse.

    Enjoy breakfast while watching sunrise on mighty Mekong river. We drive back to Pakse, on the way stop at Phou Salao for overview of the town.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Pakse.

  11. Day 11: Pakse 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.


      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 flight: Vientiane - Pakse.
    • 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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