Laos Past & Present

Laos Past & Present

Starts
Luang Prabang
Destinations
+ 3
Ends
Pakse
Luang Prabang → Xieng Khuang → Vientiane → Pakse

Highlights

  • Admire Alms Giving ceremory – A very famous activity of Theravada Buddhism.
  • Visit Wat Xieng Thong and many beautiful temples of Luang Prabang town.
  • Visit Kuang Si waterfall – One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Laos.
  • Visit mysterious archaeological wonderland: The Plain of Jars.
  • Visit ancient temples and golden stupa in Vientiane.
  • Visit Wat Phu Ruins – A world heritage site.
  • Visit majestic waterfall of Khone Phapheng and 4000 islands area.
Age range
Accommodation
3 / 4 / 5
Transportation

A 10 days adventure discovering the unparalleled charm and rustic beauty of Laos. During this adventure travel through the kingdom formerly known as Lang Xang, the Land of a Million Elephants and stay in Indochina’s most elegant hotels. You will have the opportunity to experience the uniqueness of this Buddhist country as you traverse and back from Luang Prabang all the way to southern Laos and back up to Pakse.

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Itinerary

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  1. Day 1: Luang Prabang Arrival.

    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.
    Meals: Not Available.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang.

  2. Day 2: Luang Prabang – Magic Mekong – Holy Pak Ou Caves.

    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 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). Before returning the old town, we stop to visit Ban Xang Khong where the Lue people of this village are noted in particular for their arts and crafts.
    Later that day, we adjourn to the Phousi hill to enjoy the marvelous panoramic views of the town.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang.

  3. Day 3: 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.
    We begin our trip with Royal Palace Museum, was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family. Continue 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.
    Then 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.
    Laos is also known for its traditional crafts, and today you will take soft trek 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.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang.

  4. Day 4: Luang Prabang – Drive to Phonsavan.

    After breakfast we drive to Phonsavan (8-9 hours), mid-sized town 400 km northeast of the Lao capital, Vientiane. Thousands of stone urns dating back to the Iron Age scatter over hundreds of square kilometers in the mountains surrounding Phonsavan.
    Arrive, check in hotel, rest of the day is free at leisure.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Phonsavan.

  5. Day 5: Phonsavan – Plain of Jars – Fly to Vientiane.

    Today we explore the mysterious archaeological wonderland: the Plain of Jars.
    Start the day with a trip to Phonsavan’s bustling central market. Visit the MAG exhibition then head out to the Plain of Jars. Explore Site 1 of the ancient and mysterious
    Plain of Jars: an enchanting archaeological site, where hundreds of large stone jars lie scattered about the plateau. Next we discover Site 2 and Site 3 in the different location and the journey to reach them offers glimpse of some typical local villages (if time permits). Transfer to airport for flight 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.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Vientiane.

  6. Day 6: Vientiane City Tour.

    Today we have a full 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 take a half day tour to 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.

  7. Day 7: Vientiane – Fly to Pakse – Wat Phou Ruins – Don Khong.

    We take a morning flight to Southern Laos – 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 our guide and we have lunch. In the afternoon we visit unique Wat Phou temple of Khmer  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.
    Continue our trip with 4 hours driving to Don Khong, the biggest of the 4000 islands. Explore local villages, cross the Mekong, and admire the lush green rice fields that cover most of the island.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Don Khong.

  8. Day 8: 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 km, 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.

  9. Day 9: Pakse – Bolaven Plateau – Pakse.

    After breakfast, we head to Bolaven Plateau, a mountainous region home to dozens of hill tribes, waterfalls and coffee and tea plantations. Our first destination is 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. 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. Back to Pakse, rest of the day is free at leisure.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Pakse.

  10. Day 10: Pakse Departure.

    Depart early from the hotel to the airport to catch your departure flight home.
    Meal: Breakfast.

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
    • Flights

      Xieng Khuang Vientiane by Laos Airlines.
      Vientiane Pakse by Laos Airlines.


      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 tickets: Phonsavan Vientiane; 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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