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Overview

Discover rich culture, visit colourful cities and meet friendly locals. This overland journey moves at a slower pace to uncover the beauty of the places in between Luang Prabang and Vientiane. Insightful excursions and outdoor adventures are balanced with free time to relax and enjoy the scenery. 

Trip Highlights

Overland Laos

Travel Overland from Luang Prabang to Vientiane

Take the scenic road from Luang Prabang to Vientiane, stopping en route in Vang Vieng and other small villages. 

Get adventurous in Vang Vieng

Trek to hidden caves, swim in turquoise natural pools and cruise the Nam Song River in a local boat on the outskirts of Vang Vieng.

Experience Old and New in Vientiane

Spend time exploring the contrasts of the capital city, where ancient temples stand alongside gleaming modern buildings. 

Itinerary

1

Luang Prabang Arrival

Luang Prabang Airport – Luang Prabang (4 km): 15 min

Upon arrival to Luang Prabang, our guide and driver will be waiting to provide transport to the hotel for check in. After checking in to the hotel, relax before heading into town for a short orientation tour.

As the sun begins to set, head for the top of Mount Phousi. Climbing its 328 stairs, reach the peak of the hill just in time for sunset. The viewpoint offers stunning panoramas of the city and sprawling landscapes below. After descent, explore the nearby evening market where a collection of handicrafts and souvenirs can be found.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

2

Pak Ou Caves & Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang – Pak Ou caves by boat (30 km): 2 hours

After breakfast, start the morning with a visit to Wat Xieng Thong, the most photographed temple in the city. Afterwards, board a traditional wooden boat for a relaxing cruise along the mighty Mekong River. Enjoy the beautiful passing scenery before reaching the Pak Ou Caves.

Sitting at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Ou Rivers, these twin caves are carved into the surrounding limestone cliffs, filled with hundreds of ancient Buddha images and statues. After visiting the caves, moor near the cliffs for a local-style lunch, featuring a range of traditional Lao dishes. After lunch, cruise back to Luang Prabang.

Returning in the afternoon, begin a city tour through this UNESCO-celebrated heritage town.

The tour starts at the former Royal Palace (today the National Museum), before moving on to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief. Continue walking to the 18th century Wat Sensoukarahm,  known for its dazzling golden façade.

As the day comes to a close, participate in a traditional Baci ceremony. These ceremonies are deeply rooted in Lao culture, and are used to celebrate a special occasion- whether a wedding, an annual festival, or as a welcome.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

3

Luang Prabang & Kuang Si

Luang Prabang – Kuang Si (32 km): 1 hour

For early risers, there is a very special dawn visit to watch the monks collecting alms.  As the sun begins to rise, long lines of orange-robed monks leave their pagodas and walk barefoot down the streets collecting offerings from Luang Prabang residents.

After heading back to the hotel for breakfast, head out for a visit to Wat Visoun, the holiest temple of the city. Next pay a visit to Wat Aham, followed by Wat That, where the ashes of King Sisavang Vong are kept inside the large, central stupa.

This afternoon, head into the countryside for a visit to the Kuang Si Waterfalls Upon reaching Kuang Si Waterfall, relax and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings. The jungle and dense woods surrounding the falls are perfect for exploring on foot. For the adventurous type, follow the steep track to the top of the falls for some amazing views. Alternatively, there are tranquil, turquoise pools that collect at the base of the falls, which are perfect for swimming (please dress modestly.)

On the route back to Luang Prabang, there is an optional visit to the Free the Bears sanctuary, housing 23 Asiatic Bears that were rescued from poachers. Additionally, a stop can be made at the unique Lao Buffalo Dairy Farm, a social enterprise that produces sustainable and delicious cheese while giving back to the community and environment. While the buffalo may be the stars here, there are also playful pigs, cheeky chickens and rollicking rabbits that are just as fun to interact with for the young and young at heart. Enjoy a homemade ice cream at the cafe before saying goodbye to the Buffaloes and the team. (Opening Hours: 9.30am – 5.30pm, Monday - Sunday)

Overnight in Luang Prabang

4

Luang Prabang - Vang Vieng

Luang Prabang – Vang Vieng (230 km): 5 hours

After breakfast, depart Luang Prabang for the spectacular drive to Vang Vieng. A stop will be made in Kasi, a famous fruit growing region. Additional photo stops can be made upon request, as the region is naturally stunning. Please be aware, the road from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng is mountainous and quite serpentine.

Upon arrival to Vang Vieng, check in to the hotel and soak up the brilliant landscapes that illustrate the town.

The remainder of the day is free at leisure with the guide available throughout the afternoon. Don’t forget to catch the sunset over the Nam Song River!

Overnight in Vang Vieng

5

Vang Vieng - Vientiane

Vang Vieng – Vientiane (160 km): 3,5 hours

After breakfast, begin the tour by crossing the Nam Song River for the short drive to Tham Pou Kham. After passing through a small entrance hole, descend 100 meters into the ground. Despite its narrow entrance, the cave opens to a vast area that houses a giant reclining Buddha statue. After exploring the cavern, there is an option to swim in the chilly, but clean, water holes of the Ka River.

Continue the experience with a local longtail boat cruise (2 people per boat) upstream on the Nam Song River.

Arrive at the extensive Organic Farm, which specializes in refreshing mulberry tea and houses a wide range of livestock and organic crops. Take a short tour of the Organic Farm with an optional lunch (not included).

After lunch, begin the drive to Vientiane. After driving for roughly 1.5 hours, reach Nam Ngum Lake. The largest lake in Laos, this artificial body of water was built to feed the first hydroelectric dam in the country. For those interested, it is possible to hire a local boat to take a short tour of the lake (not included).

From here, continue the drive towards Vientiane (another 2.5 hours). Upon arrival, check in to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day free at leisure. Take a stroll along the bustling riverside area or do some shopping in the evening markets.

Overnight in Vientiane

6

Vientiane - City Tour

After breakfast at the hotel, head out with the guide for a discovery tour of Vientiane.

The tour begins at the serene Wat Sisaket, one of the most beautiful temples in the capital, before continuing on to the nearby Wat Phra Keo. Acting as a religious museum, the site displays a unique collection of both Lao and Khmer works of art. Also nearby, is the Presidential Palace. Though it can only be viewed from the outside, the stunning building offers some excellent insight into the colonial history of Vientiane.

Next, make a stop at Wat Simuang. The most popular and venerated temple in Vientiane, it is considered to be the guardian of the spirit of the city. Following the temple visit, head to COPE, an association working to help landmine victims. A visit to the center provides in-depth information about the history of the American/Vietnam war, the lasting impact of unexploded ordinances (UXO) in the area, and the efforts underway to clear them.

In the afternoon, continue to the Patuxay monument. Laos’ version of the Arc de Triomphe, it is possible to climb the stairs of the monument where breathtaking views over the city await. The tour wraps up at That Luang, the holiest site in Laos. Constructed by King Setthethirat in the 16th century, the temple is one of the city’s most iconic with its towering golden spire.

Overnight in Vientiane

7

Depart Vientiane

Vientiane – Vientiane Airport (4 km): 15 min

After breakfast, enjoy the day free at leisure until transport (provided) to the airport for the departing flight. 

Important Information

Our Services Include:

  • Hotel accommodation in shared twin/double room with daily breakfast.
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
  • Tours and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicles.
  • English speaking local guide (for other languages supplements apply)
  • All entrance fees as indicated in itinerary.

Our Services do not include:

  • International and domestic flights (quoted separately).
  • Meals other than mentioned above.
  • Camera/video entrance fees.
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance, tips, visa
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above

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