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Overview

Tour both Bangkok and Laos iconic and religiously revered sites on this multi-country tour. Spend days lost amidst the inspiring and intricate details of famous buddhist temples like the Wat Pho in Bangkok and Wat Xieng Thong in Luang Prabang. Taste an authentic riverside life with a lunch and cruise to southern Laos.

Trip Highlights

Bangkok to Laos North to South

Take a closer look of Buddhist culture

Tour the iconic temples of Bangkok, Luang Prabang and Vientiane and learn more about the Buddhist religion.

See intricate designs of temples

Marvel at the varying designs of ancient temples’ bas-reliefs and architecture.

Discover southern Laos on cruise

Hop on an overnight Wat Phou cruise to southern Laos and be amazed by the waterscapes and locals’  livelihoods. 

Itinerary

1

Bangkok Arrival

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport – The Peninsula (40.6 km): 47 min

Upon arrival at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, you will be met and greeted by our EXO Travel guide for transfer to your hotel for check in.

Overnight in Bangkok.

2

Bangkok

The Peninsula Bangkok – The Royal Grand Palace (6.4 km): 19 min The Royal Grand Palace – Sala Rim Nam Restaurant (6.3 km): 26 min Sala Rim Nam Restaurant – Prasart Museum (21.4 km): 27 min

Breakfast at the hotel.

Today’s tour will begin at 08:00. Go behind the scenes for a closer look at Buddhist culture. Start the morning with a trip to Wat Pho, arguably Bangkok’s most enchanting temple. Arrive just as the resident monks gather for their morning chants. Witness this deeply spiritual ritual and gain a better sense of Thailand’s Buddhist heritage.

After the chants, take a walk around Wat Pho and see the vast collection of religious treasures on display. Admire the famed reclining Buddha image, which stretches 45-metres in length. Learn about the symbolism of the Buddha’s intricate footprint and witness devotees making offerings to this revered image.

The tour then continues to the nearby Grand Palace, which has served as the seat of Thailand's revered Royal family for more than two centuries. Take a walk around the vast grounds, stopping in to explore the various temples, throne halls and museums within the compound. Visit the Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddhist image in Thailand, and hear about its mysterious origins. (Note: Grand Palace is one of the most popular destinations and is usually a number one must-see place in Bangkok. Not surprisingly, it receives millions of tourists annually. To get the best of your visit and avoid crowds on spot we will allow your guide flexibility to visit the temple either early morning or late afternoon if possible in your itinerary. If you by any means decide that there are too many people for your liking, the guide can bring you to an alternative temple in the area such as Wat Saket or Wat Suthat, this decision needs to be made before entering the Grand Palace.)

Afterwards, depart for Thai buffet lunch at Sala Rim Nam, Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s famous riverside restaurant.

In the afternoon, drive to the Prasart Museum, a private collection of antiques, art and archaeology located in the far suburbs of east Bangkok. Visits are by appointment only and the museum is one of Bangkok’s great little secrets. Dr. Prasart is dedicated to keeping in Thailand antiques that may otherwise be sold overseas and his collections are unique and priceless. (Note: Prasat Museum only accepts a visit by appointment, and it is closed on Mondays.)

Overnight in Bangkok.

3

Bangkok

The Peninsula Bangkok – Bang Pa-In Summer Palace Ayutthaya (69.3 km): 1.02 hr

Breakfast at the hotel.

Today, we will take a trip back in time to discover the former Siamese capital of Ayutthaya. In the morning, depart from your hotel in Bangkok and drive directly to Bang Pa-In, the summer palace built by Rama IV. There you will see the contrasting palace buildings and surrounding temples inspired by European, Chinese and Thai designs. Also visit Wat Niwet Thammaprawat, the gothic inspired temple on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. After the visit, board the Thanatharee rice barge at Wat Kasatra pier, and enjoy your private lunch cruise on the Chao Phraya River. En route you will have beautiful views of Wat Phanan Choeng, Wat Chai Wattanaram and local lifestyle on the riverside along the way. Ayutthaya, surrounded by rivers and a canal, flourished as the capital of Siam from 1350 until it was attacked by the Burmese in 1767.  The remains of the temples and ruins of this great city have now been declared a World Heritage Site. Cruise back to Wat Kasatra pier, disembark and continue to visit the most important of the ruined temples in Ayutthaya historical park - Wat Yai Chaimongkol, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Viharn Phra Mongkol Bopit and Wat Chai Wattanaram. Return to Bangkok by car.

Dinner is at your leisure.

Overnight in Bangkok.

4

Bangkok - Luang Prabang

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport – The Peninsula (40.6 km): 47 min Luang Prabang Airport – Luang Prabang (4 km): 15 min

After breakfast, transfer to Bangkok Airport to take a morning flight to Luang Prabang.

Welcome to Luang Prabang world heritage city. Upon arrival we transfer to the hotel and check-in.

In the afternoon you will tour Luang Prabang. Luang Prabang was the capital of Lan Xang from 1353 until 1545, when it was moved to Vientiane. Despite the move, Luang Prabang remained the seat of monarchical power, and when the kingdom broke up in 1694, one of the deceased king's grandsons established a rival kingdom to those in Vientiane and Champassak. Though weakened, the Luang Prabang royalty endured until 1975, when after the reign of 63 kings it was formally dissolved. Today Luang Prabang is a small, town on the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers surrounded by mountains – it is often described as one of the last true Shangri-Las in Asia.

Your guide will take you on a walking tour to some of the most impressive sites including Wat Visoun, the site of an impressive stupa and That Makmo, stylistically more Sri Lankalese than Lao. Continue to the nearby Wat Aham, one of the city’s major tutelary shrines dedicated to Deveta Luang (spirit) Pu Gneu Ya Gneu (ancestors), then climb Phousi Hill for an outstanding overview of the city. Enjoy the sunset from Wat Prabaht Tai, located along the Mekong River.

Dinner is at your leisure.

Overnight in Luang Prabang.

5

Luang Prabang

In the morning rise early and participate in the daily early morning ritual of saffron-clad monks with their black alms bowls being given offerings from the local people, including the ubiquitous sticky rice.

You return to the hotel for breakfast and later begin your exploration of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, fittingly called one of the last Shangri-La’s of Southeast Asia, with a visit to Wat Xieng Thong, the most important Buddhist monastery in the country. The main sanctuary represents the classic Luang Prabang temple architecture with roofs that sweep low to the ground. In the compound stand several small chapels housing bronze Buddha images, which were displayed in Paris in 1911.

Near the East gate stands the royal funeral chapel. Inside you’ll see the impressive 40-foot high Royal funeral float and various funeral urns of several members of the former royal family.

The gilt panel on the exterior of the chapel depicts a semi-erotic episode from the Hindu Ramayana.

After lunch, visit the former Royal Palace, now the National Museum. The Royal Palace was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family, and is now home to exhibits of art and jewels as well as the residence itself. From there, continue on foot to visit Wat Mai, with its unique 5 tiered roof and golden bas-reliefs.  During Pimai, the Lao New Year, the small Buddha statue called Pra Bang normally housed in the Royal Palace Museum is brought and put on public display in this temple.

Overnight in Luang Prabang.

6

Luang Prabang - Vientiane

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

In the late morning your guide and private car will meet you and transfer you to the airport for your domestic flight to Vientiane, the capital of Laos.

Suggested flight:

Depart Luang Prabang at 13:05 on QV102 (Lao Airlines), landing in Vientiane at 13:50.

Your private car and guide will meet you on arrival and luggage will be transferred separately while you enjoy lunch at Lao Kitchen.

Enjoy a half-day guided tour to discover the hidden charms of Vientiane, whose name means ‘the city of sandal wood’. Vientiane is one of the quietest capital cities in the world, far away from the bustle and hustle of other Asian capitals.

After lunch your tour begins at the serene Wat Sisaket, the only temple left intact after the Siamese (Thai) invasion in 1828. It is one of the most beautiful temples in the capital, and its breezy teak covered hallways are filled with thousands of miniature Buddha statues.

Continue on to the nearby Wat Phra Keo.  Used as a religious museum, Wat Phra Keo displays a collection of both Lao and Khmer works of art. Also nearby, is the Presidential Palace.  Although you are not allowed to visit inside, it is a good glimpse in to the town’s colonial past as this building formerly served as the French governor’s palace.

Stop at Wat Simuang, the most popular and venerated temple in Vientiane, as it is considered the guardian of the spirit of the city. Upon its grounds, you will find an Angkorian-era pillar and it is a popular belief that if you circle it three times and make a wish, then that wish will come true.

This afternoon, continue to the Patuxay monument, Laos’ version of the Arc de Triomphe, where you can climb the stairs to the roof for sweeping panoramic views of the city. Next, your tour takes you to That Luang, the holiest site in Laos.

Constructed by King Setthathirat in the 16th century, the temple is resplendent as the sun is shines upon its towering golden spire.

End your tour of the capital along the banks of the Mekong River. 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 - Wat Phou Cruise to Champasak

Vientiane – Vientiane Airport (4 km): 15 min Pakse Airport – Pier (5 km): 20 min

After breakfast your guide and private car will meet you at the hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight to Pakse.

Suggested flight:

Departure from Vientiane at 7:10 (QV515, Lao Airlines), arrival in Pakse at 8:25

Note: only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

Pakse is the provincial capital of Champasak, at the confluence of the Mekong and Sedon rivers, and is a canter for trading between Thailand and Vietnam. Your guide and private car will meet you and transfer you to the pier to board the Wat Phou Cruise at 1030.

The Wat Phou Cruise from Pakse for Champassak is a local long tail riverboat, zigzagging through mild rapids and sand banks, arriving at Champassak in time for a riverside lunch, followed by a guided tour of the pre-Angkorian 10th century temple of Wat Phou, the boat’s namesake.

As dusk falls, enjoy a relaxing cruise down-river. Dinner is served on board, while the boat docks for the night alongside a remote Laotian village.

Overnight on board.

8

Wat Phou Cruise

Breakfast is served on board as you set sail for the village of Huei Thamo, a few minutes’ walk away from the spectacular hidden forest temple of Oum Moung. Afterwards, rejoin the boat for a cruise southwards and lunch on the deck, while continuing further south to the wild paradise of the 4,000 islands. Visit Khong Island and the village of Muang Kong, where the traditional way of life has not changed in centuries. Then return to the boat for a sunset cruise and dinner under the stars, serenaded by the songs of the buffalo toads.

Overnight on board.

9

Wat Phou Cruise - Pakse

Pier – Pakse (2 km): 10 min

Breakfast on deck, while cruising to the small village of Ban Veuthong, where you will board a local car-ferry to reach the mainland and the amazingly scenic Khone Pha Peng waterfall situated close to the Cambodian border. On arrival at the small fishing village of Xieng Di, you will board a small long-tail boat to Khone Island, where you might see one of the rare river dolphins on the way! Have lunch amid the by-gone splendor of another age: colorful French colonial houses and an old customs post. Transfer to Pakse.

Overnight in Pakse.

10

Pakse – Bangkok

Pakse – Pakse Airport (3 km): 10 min

Morning at leisure until transfer to Pakse airport for your flight to Bangkok.

Optional: Fly directly from Pakse to Bangkok (must be Tuesday or Friday only. Subject to change without prior notice from airline)

Important Information

Our Services include:

  • Accommodation in a shared twin or double bedded room at the selected hotels/boats.
  • Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
  • English speaking guide
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits and activities clearly specified.
  • Tips for driver and hotel porters for Thailand

Our services do not include:

  • Other meals than mentioned
  • Other services than mentioned
  • International and Domestic Flights
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
  • Tips, Travel insurance, Visa

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