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Overview

Be enchanted by the people and culture of Lao. Travel at a slow pace to truly understand and embrace the country. Spend time absorbing the culture of Luang Prabang, enjoying the vibrant energy of Vientiane and relaxing in the tranquillity of the South. 

Trip Highlights

Richness & Splendors of Laos

Discover Laos’ Iconic Cities

Scratch beneath the surface of tranquil Luang Prabang and the capital of Vientiane to discover their hidden charm.  

Journey through the serene South

See the diversity of southern Laos with treks through lush highland scenery, visits to ancient temples and boat trips around river islands.

See Laos’ Natural Wonders

Learn why Laos is regarded as a nature lovers’ paradise with excursions to pristine waterfalls, boat trips on the mighty Mekong and an evening in a riverside village.

Itinerary

1

Arrive Luang Prabang

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, enjoy some down time at the hotel before heading into the city for an afternoon orientation tour.

Just before the sun begins to set, head for the centrally located Mount Phousi and begin the ascent to its 328 steps. Upon reaching the top, enjoy beautiful panoramic views over the city and surrounding countryside. After catching the sunset, head back down the steps for a visit to the evening market, where a vast selection of unique hill tribe items can be purchased.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

2

Luang Prabang

After breakfast, begin the city tour at the former Royal Palace, now home to the National Museum. (Note: closed on Tuesdays). The walk continues to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief, and continues on to the 18th century Wat Sensoukarahm, boasting a dazzling golden façade.

Finish with a visit to the city’s most photographed temple: Wat Xieng Thong. Located at the end of the peninsula, this temple was erected in 1560 by King Setthathirat.

In the afternoon, pay a visit to Wat Visoun, the holiest temple of the city, which was entirely rebuilt after being destroyed in 1887. Continue to the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre, which offers some excellent insight into the variety of ethnic groups found in Laos. (Note: closed on Monday).

Finally, cross the Mekong for a walk on the opposite side of the river, and climb to Wat Chompet for a different view of the city during sunset.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

3

Luang Prabang - Kuang Si Waterfall - Luang Prabang

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

After breakfast at the hotel, take off into the countryside with the guide for a visit to the Kuang Si Waterfalls.

Upon reaching the falls, relax and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings. For the adventurous type, it is possible to hike a steep track to the top of the falls for some amazing views. Additionally, at the bottom of the falls, are pools of tranquil, turquise waters which are perfect for swimming (please dress modestly).

For lunch today, enjoy a delicious picnic provided by L’Elephant, one of the finest restaurants in Luang Prabang.

On the road 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)

Upon return back to Luang Prabang, the remainder of the day is free at leisure.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Evening performance at the Royal Ballet Theatre

At 18:00, enjoy a performance by the Royal Ballet, aimed at preserving an important aspect of Lao cultural heritage. Watching spectacular performances which include scenes from the Lao-Ramayana and Lao folk/tribal dances.  (Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday).

Overnight in Luang Prabang

4

Luang Prabang - Pak Ou - Kamu Lodge

Luang Prabang – Kamu Lodge by boat: 3 hours

For early-risers, there is a very special dawn experience to witness the long lines of orange-robed monks leaving their pagodas to receive offerings of food from Luang Prabang residents. Return to the hotel for breakfast.

After breakfast, depart from Luang Prabang for a Mekong boat ride to the Kamu Lodge.

En route to the lodge, a stop will be made at the Pak Ou Caves. Here, thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues are crammed into the two caves carved out of a towering limestone cliff. The statues range in size from a few centimeters to the size of a human.

Continue upriver for one hour to reach the Kamu Lodge. Located in a unique setting, this eco-oriented lodge provides a very authentic, alternative Laos experience.

This afternoon, take part in any of the variety of activities available:

Rice planting and harvesting in surrounding rice fields
Gold panning (January to June) in the Mekong
Traditional fishing in the Mekong  
Local village visit and encounters

Dinner and overnight at the Lodge

5

Kamu Lodge - Luang Prabang - Vientiane

Kamu Lodge – Luang Prabang by boat: 3 hours Luang Prabang – Luang Prabang Airport (4 km): 15 min Vientiane Airport – Vientiane (4 km): 15 min

Enjoy breakfast in the cool morning air and spend the morning at leisure. For those interested, it is possible to take a brief guided tour through the neighbouring villages before check out (check-out time: 10:30)

After lunch at the Lodge, the boat will depart around 14:00 for the cruise down to Luang Prabang, arriving around 17:00.

Our guide and driver will be waiting at the pier to provide transport to the airport for the departing flight to Vientiane.

Upon arrival to the capital, another guide and driver will be waiting to provide transport to the hotel for check in.

Overnight in Vientiane

6

Vientiane

After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy a guided tour to discover the hidden charms of Vientiane. Begin at  the serene Wat Sisaket, one of the capital’s original and most beautiful temples.

Continue to the nearby Wat Phra Keo. Today used as a religious museum, this temple displays a collection of both Lao and Khmer works of art. Also nearby, is the Presidential Palace. Though it cannot be visited on the inside, its exterior offers an excellent glimpse into the colonial history of the city.

Afterwards, pay a visit to COPE, an association working to help landmine victims. A visit to the centre 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 to the top of the site’s roof where amazing views await over the top of the city. After soaking up the views, continue onto the 16th century That Luang, the holiest site in Laos.

End the tour of the capital along the banks of the Mekong River as the sun begins to set. Stroll along the river, stop to enjoy a cold drink, or sample a snack from one of the many local food stalls.  

Overnight in Vientiane

7

Vientiane - Pakse - Bolaven Plateau

Vientiane – Vientiane Airport (4 km): 15 min Pakse – Bolaven Plateau (38 km): 45 min Bolaven Plateau – Champasak (40 km): 1 hour

After an early breakfast, our guide and driver will be waiting to provide transport to the airport for the departing flight to Pakse. Upon arrival, transport will be provided to the hotel for check in and to drop off luggage.

Begin the day with a short tour of the city, and follow it up with a drive east to the Bolaven Plateau, a mountainous region home to dozens of hill tribes, waterfalls and coffee and tea plantations.

The first stops are at Tad Fane and Tad Yuang 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, 38km from Pakse (Note: water levels may vary accordingly to the previous rainy season).

Make a short stop in Paksong, the ‘capital of coffee’ before continuing east to the Sinouk Coffee Resort. An expert in coffee will provide a tour through the site, explaining the different aspects of the planation, its unique coffee trees and what the different processing stages are. After a delicious local lunch (featuring vegetables from the site’s organic garden), there will be a sample session of the resort’s best coffee.

On the drive back to Pakse, two stops will be made. The first stop will be to the Tad Lo waterfalls, a beautiful formation of three separate falls. The second stop is to the small village of Ban Houay Houn, famous for its Katu textiles. Enjoy the chance to observe local women weaving without a traditional loom, using their legs to stretch the fabric.

Return to Pakse in the late afternoon and transfer to the hotel.

Overnight in Pakse

8

Pakse - Wat Phou - Khong Island

Champasak – Wat Phou (3 km): 15 min Champasak – Kong Island (100 km): 1 hour 30 min

After breakfast, transfer by road to Wat Phou.

Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Wat Phou is a spectacular pre-Angkorian temple that sits amidst the rice fields and waterways of southern Laos. The temple was constructed in three levels: the bottom level is focused on the baray (water reservoir) and promenade, the second level features pavilions and galleries of carvings, and the top level is the sanctuary. The temple served as the most important economic and political centre of the region and still is one of the Lao people’s most revered temples.

Pass through Champasak, driving through streets lined with French colonial buildings, and enjoy lunch in a local restaurant.

Then continue on to Khong Island, the biggest island in southern Laos and the start of the 4,000 Islands Region. Called “Siphandon” in Lao, this area of the Mekong stretches over 14km wide and is dotted with thousands of islands, cascades and rapids.

Overnight in Khong Island

9

Khong Island - Siphandon - Pakse

Champasak – Ban Nakasan (130 km): 2 hours

In the morning visit Don Det and Don Khong, two peaceful islands housing mostly plantations and simple villages. We recommend bicycles as the best way to explore.

The islands played an important role during the French Colonial rule as they linked Laos to Cambodia and Southern Vietnam. To overpass the waterfalls, a railway and bridge were built, which today are the perfect place to soak in the surrounding views.

Next, pay a visit to the impressive Lippi falls, which are wedged between Don Khong Island and the Cambodian border. After the visit, a short boat trip will be made, which will offer the unique chance to spot the elusive Irrawaddy Dolphins.

In the afternoon, return back to Pakse.

Overnight in Pakse

10

Pakse Departure

Pakse – Pakse Airport (5 km): 15 min

After breakfast, transport will be provided to the airport for the onward 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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