Quintessential Laos in Depth
Our new tour, “Quintessential Laos in Depth 15 Days”, covers most of the highlights of this culturally and scenically diverse country, including Vientiane, Xieng Khoang, Luang Prabang and the Southern Champasack, this tours combines the ancient wonders of Luang Prabang and the exotic Nong Khiau on the bank of the Mekong River.
You will discover the enigmatic Plain of Jars in Xiang Khoang, be amazed at the rural beauty of the Bolaven Plateau and experience spectacular Wat Phou, a UNESCO World Heritage listed site in the south.
While Laos does not offer a coastline or famed beaches, it does have 4,000 islands in the south, as well as the Khonephabangeng Falls, the largest waterfall in Southeast Asia.
Your trip will end in Pakse, Champassak, which is one of the most attractive places Laos has to offer in terms of culture, nature, and history.
IncludedAccommondationAll Museum TicketsMealsPersonal GuideTransportation/CarTypical Souvenir
Day 1: Arrive in Vientiane (D)
Upon arrival, you will meet your guide and transfer to your hotel for an overnight stay in Vientiane.
Day 2: Vientiane-City Tour (B/L/-)
After breakfast, you will start visiting the major sights of the capital including Wat Sisaket, (with thousands of miniature Buddha statues) and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo (which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image). On the way to the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, you will stop to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane's own Arc de Triumph. You will stay overnight in Vientiane.
Day 3: Vientiane – XiengKhouang – Phone Savanh (Flight QV 401 @ 09:30-10:00) (B/L/-)
You will board a short afternoon flight to Xiengkhouang, which was devastated by American bombing between 1964 and 1973. Upon arrival, you will meet your guide and transfer to your hotel. The rest of day is free for you to relax before an overnight stay in Xieng Khuang.
Day 4: Around Xieng Khuang (B/L/-)
After breakfast, you will visit a local market, the drive out to visit the Plain of Jars, an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are littered all over the plateau. You will also have time this afternoon to see the old capital of Muang Khoun Province and the nearby villages, home to the Hmong hill tribe and Tai Dam people, who have an interesting local culture and a colorful history. In the afternoon you will visit the provincial revolutionary museum before an overnight stay in Phonsavanh.
Day 5: Xieng Khuoang – Luang Phrabang (Overland) (B/L/-) (by land)
In the early morning, you will visit the Central Market of Phonsavanh to watch different hill tribes barter and exchange merchandises. Then you will head out to Luang Prabang, about 300 kilometers away. On the way, you will see a site that is over 200 years old with famous Buddha images in Thampra and see the Hmong and varied hill tribe minority villages along the road. The tranquility and charm of this town with its splendid natural scenery and cultural sights make it one of the most delightful places to visit in Laos. After checking into the hotel, you will have a restful overnight stay in Luang Prabang.
Day 6: Luang Prabang-City Tours (B/L/-)
You will visit the National Museum, the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Mai. You will also visit Wat Xieng Thong, and then climb up to the top of the Phousi Mount for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a beautiful sunset view of the city and the Mekong River. From there, you will explore the Night Market, where you can find a lovely collection of handmade textiles, created by local and hill tribe people from the area surrounding Luang Prabang. You will stay overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 7: Luang Prabang-Textile Village-Elephant Camp (B/L/-)
After breakfast, you will drive out of town to visit the elephant camp at Ban Ann. En route, you will stop at a well-known village, Ban Phom Nom, where most of those villagers are weavers. Historically, they were servants and made handicraft souvenirs for the last king of Laos. Another stop will be at the Henri Mouhot monument at Kang Noon. Mouhot was a French man, who founded Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, but he died at Kang Noon when he moved to Laos and contracted Malaria.
Upon arrival at the camp, your guide will brief you about the elephants and you will take an elephant ride for 30 minutes before returning to the town and transfer to your hotel.
Day 8: Luang Prabang-Kuang Sii Fall (B/L/-)
After breakfast, you will visit Phosi Market before driving out of town 30 kilometers to the beautiful Kuang Sii Fall, where you can swim, relax or soft trek to the top of the fall. On the way back, you will have a short stop at a Black Hmong village, where hill tribe hand-made handicraft souvenirs are sold as visitors pass by. The rest of the day is free before an overnight stay.
Day 9: Luang Prabang-Nong Khiau-Muang Ngoy-Nong Khiau (B/L/-)
After breakfast, you will drive about 3 hours to Nong Khiau. En route there will be a short stop at the junction between Pak Mong to Nong Khiau or Pak Mong and another northern province. Arriving in Nong Khiau, you will check in at your bungalow. After a short rest, you will enjoy a boat trip upstream along the Ou River, about 1 hour and 20 minutes to the old town, Muang Ngoy (also known as “Bombing Town” during Indochina War.) You will arrive in Muang Ngoy and begin exploring the village to see local life. In the late afternoon, you will return to Nong Khiau by boat and stay overnight.
Day 10: Nong Khiau-Pak Ou Cave-Luang Prabang (B/L/-)
After breakfast, you will enjoy a cruise downstream on the Ou River to the Mekong River, which also gives you a beautiful view of the tranquil countryside as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious of Pak Ou Caves, crammed 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. You will transfer to your hotel and stay overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 11: Luang Prabang-Pakse-Tadlo (B/L/-)
After breakfast, we will transfer you to the airport for your departure to Pakse in the south of Laos. On arrival at Pakse Airport, you will be met and transferred to Tadlo, passing many charming villages and rolling hills. The deep contrast between the lush, green vegetation and the red surface of the basaltic soil is an incredible thing to see as you pass along. You will then stop at tea and coffee plantations, followed by a stop at Tad Fan Waterfall, a picturesque twin chute waterfall.
You will explore another interesting minority village, Ban Bong Neua, an Alak village boasting a sacrificial altar. You will then arrive at the beautiful Tadlo Waterfall in the afternoon, where you will have the rest of the day at for a stroll around, a swim on the river, or to watch the elephants bathe and enjoy the sunset over your Lao beer. Also, there is the option of a short elephant ride to take in the beautiful scenery. You will stay overnight at Tadlo Lodge.
Day 12: Tadlo / Wat Phu Temple/Khong Island / Don Khone (B/L/-)
A scenic drive will deliver you to the former royal capital of Champasak, a gateway to the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Phu. The hillside edifice was once an important sanctuary of the Khmer Empire. The temple structure was partly destroyed during the areas of turbulent history, yet it is still fascinating to walk among the ruins. You will follow the walkway from the lower to the upper section, which features various iconic forms, including Vishnu, Shiva, and Kala. The temple upper ground also affords a spectacular view of the surrounding valley and the mighty Mekong River. You will then visit Wat Phou Museum and Oum Moung Temple. Then you will drive to the 4,000 Islands and then 30 minutes by boat from the central market to Done Khone Island, where you will reach the picturesque island of Don Khone with just enough to watch the sunset over the Mekong River.
You will stay overnight on Khone Island at Auberge Sala Done Khone.
Day 13: Khone Island And Four Thousands Islands (B/L/-)
Following breakfast, you will have the option of exploring the island by bicycle, admiring some of the old French Colonial buildings and Liphi Waterfall or "the Corridor of the Devil". You will have lunch at a local restaurant and then have the option of taking a local boat out to search for the rare freshwater dolphins that reside in this area of the Mekong. You will return to Khone Island for an overnight stay.
Day 14: Khone Island / Don Daeng (B/L/-)
After an early breakfast, you will take a long tail boat to Khone and head back to the mainland. You will visit Khone Phapheng Waterfall, considered the largest by volume in Southeast Asia. This is a really impressive site near the Lao-Cambodian border, set within an area teeming with wildlife, making this area one of the most breathtaking destinations in Laos. Then you will continue to Don Daeng Island where you have the afternoon at leisure, to explore the island by bicycle, or relax. You will stay overnight on Don Daeng Island at La Folie Lodge.
Day 15: Don Daeng / Pakse Airport (B/-/-)
After breakfast, you are free at leisure until transfer straight to Pakse Airport for your departure flight to the next destinations: Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Siem Reap, Danang, Ho Chi Minh City or Bangkok.