Discover Laos in Style
Laos is one of Southeast Asia’s less visited corners, but those who do come to make a beeline for Luang Prabang (City of the Buddha of Peace) at the confluence of the Mekong and Khan rivers in the mountainous north. The sleepy former capital is home to hundreds of saffron-clad monks who inhabit its more than 300 pagoda-like temples. Throughout town, a languid air of serenity mixes with a new-found sense of stylishness. Of the growing number of chic hotels, many are housed in refurbished French-colonial buildings, and outdoor restaurants offer mouth-watering fusion dishes.
You will also fly to the capital city of Vientiane. You will be able to learn about its colonial French buildings, ancient temples, and colorful markets. You will also visit major sights such as Wat Sisaket, the famous and sacred That Luang Stupa, and the imposing Patuxay Monument.
Next, you will fly to Pakse in southern Laos. You will explore Champassak, which has a wonderful mix of architectural jewels. You’ll discover typical Laotian wooden stilt houses, exquisite colonial villas, Lao-Chinese shop houses, and buildings with more modern aesthetics. There is even a beautiful Catholic church (which unfortunately remains little-known by visitors) and you will be one of the lucky few who learn about and visit it.
IncludedAccommondationAll Museum TicketsMealsPersonal GuideTransportation/CarTypical Souvenir
Day 1: Arrive in Luang Prabang
You will be welcomed to Luang Prabang by your guide who will take you to your hotel for an overnight stay. Once the heart and soul of the ancient kingdom of Laos, Luang Prabang is now a designated World Heritage-listed site. The city is filled with ornate temples, French colonial architecture and has a truly magical feel about it.
Day 2: Luang Prabang-City Tours (B)
After breakfast, you will visit major sites including the National Museum, the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun, the shrine of Wat Mai and Wat Xieng Thong. You will then climb up to the top of Phousi Mountain for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa, as well as see a beautiful sunset view of the city and the Mekong River. From there, you will go to explore the Night Market, where you can find lovely crafts and handmade textiles sold by local and hill tribe people from the surrounding area. You will have a restful overnight stay in Luang Prabang.
Day 3: Luang Prabang-Kuang Sii Fall (B)
After breakfast, you will drive out of town 30 km to the beautiful Kuang Sii Waterfall, where you can swim, relax and soft trek to the top of the fall. On your way back, you’ll have a short stop at a Black Hmong village, where hill tribe handicrafts are sold as souvenirs to passing visitors. Once back in town, you will have the rest of the day free to indulge in an afternoon tea or coffee at one of the many stylish cafes and bars as you people watch or plan some shopping. In the evening, you will have various choices of outdoor restaurants offering mouth-watering fusion dishes. You will then have a restful night at your hotel in Luang Prabang.
Day 4: Luang Prabang-Pak Ou Cave (B)
After breakfast, you will enjoy a cruise up the Mekong River, which provides a beautiful view of the tranquil countryside on your way to the Pak Ou Caves, which are filled with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes. Along the way, you will stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where they make a distillation of local rice wine. On your return trip, you will take a short drive to Ban Xang Khong, well known for its hand weaving. You will have an overnight stay in Luang Prabang.
Day 5: Luang Prabang-Textile Village-Elephant Camp (B)
After breakfast, you will drive out of town to visit the elephant camp at Ban Ann. En route you will stop at the famous village of Ban Phom Nom, home to weavers and craftspeople who made souvenirs for the last king of Laos. Next, you will stop at the Henri Mouhot monument in Kang Noon. He was a Frenchman, best known for being credited with discovering Angkor Wat and who died of malaria while on his fourth trip to Laos. You will then continue to the camp, and upon your arrival, your guide will brief you about the elephants before you set out on a one hour tour before returning to town in the afternoon. The rest of the day is yours free to rest and relax or explore the town on your own.
Day 6: Luang Prabang-Vientiane-City Tours (B)
After breakfast, you will have free time on your own until your flight to Vientiane. Upon arrival, you will meet your guide and transfer to your hotel. In the afternoon, you will start a tour of the major sights of the capital, including: Wat Sisaket (a temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statues), the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo (previous home of the famous Emerald Buddha Image), the That Luang Stupa and the imposing Patuxay Monument (known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph). You will stay overnight in Vientiane.
Day 7: Vientiane-Pakse-Bolavien Plateau-Pakse (B)
You will take an early morning flight to Pakse, where you will be met and driven to Saravanh province via Tateng. The bubbling water and lush vegetation around Tad Fan Waterfall make for a spectacular view. You will make a stop en route to observe the traditional local tea and coffee making activity and learn about life in the Boloven Plateau area. The cultivation of rich coffee, tea, cardamom, bananas, and other crops are common, and visitors are encouraged to venture off the beaten path and explore some of the lesser-known areas of the region. Upon arrival at Tad Lo Waterfall, you will visit Alak, Nge and Katu villages. You will return to Pakse for an overnight stay.
Day 8: Pakse – Wat Phou – Don Khong (B)
After breakfast, you will head for Khong Island and visit the pre-Angkorian ruins of Wat Phu, one of Southeast Asia's most dramatically situated temples. You will explore these Khmer ruins, perched atop a hill, and which are one of two Laos World Heritage Sites recognized by UNESCO in 2001. This wonderful archeological site dates back to the 9th Century. You will make your way past some of the 4000 islands in the region on your way to Don Khong for an overnight stay.
Day 9: Don Khong – Khone Island –Pakse (B)
After breakfast, you will enjoy a visit to the surrounding countryside and board a long tail boat as you explore sites on your way to Liphi Waterfall or "the Corridor of the Devil". You will see local fishermen at work before returning to the mainland at Ban Nakasang on your way to visit Khone Phapheng, the biggest waterfall in Southeast Asia.
Day 10: Pakse-Departure (B)
After breakfast, you will transfer to Pakse Airport for your departing flight.