In Laos you travel through a kaleidoscope of diverse cultures that live in fairy tale landscapes of jagged limestone cliffs, lush jungles and the mighty Mekong River. Discover a mouth-watering cuisine, amazing markets, the capital, Vientiane and the World Heritage city of Luang Prabang, where hundreds of saffron-robed monks wander through the streets in search of alms.
|Price (From)||:||US$ 2745|
|Includes international air|
Day 01: Arrive Vientiane
This afternoon we are scheduled to arrive Vientiane International Airport, where we are met & transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: Salana Boutique Hotel, Vientiane (3 nights)
Day 02: Vientiane
The capital city of Laos, Vientiane, still feels like a sleepy city with relaxed charm, tree-lined boulevards, fascinating temples and colorful markets. After being picked up by a private tuk-tuk, we stop for a favorite local sweet snack, "Kao larm" – a sticky rice and coconut snack served in bamboo tubes. We continue to a local fresh food market to discover the amazing diversity of Lao food, while enjoying a traditional Lao coffee. We then visit the workshop of a family-run silversmith producing intricate pieces. We enjoy lunch in a popular local restaurant that provides training and support for street youth. We then head to the Cope Visitors Centre and learn about the ongoing challenges with unexploded ordinance faced by the Lao people on a daily basis. Next we visit a temple and learn how to make mak beng and pasaat peung, the traditional Lao Buddhist banana leaf and wax flower offerings and carry our new creations to Wat Simueang, one of Vientiane's most popular temples. In the evening we can take an optional stroll along the banks of the Mekong River through Chao Anou Park and the Night Market. Adventurous foodies can sample a wide range of local snacks along the way. (B, L)
Day 03: Vientiane
Today we visit Wat Xieng Khuan, a collection of whimsical but compelling statues of Buddhist and Hindu gods. We continue to That Luang, a gleaming golden stupa and Ho Pha Keo, the formal royal temple, featuring beautiful examples of Buddhist sculpture; Wat Si Saket; Patuxai, a monumental arch inspired by the Arc de Triomphe, but executed with Lao motifs and Wat Si Muang; ending our day at the Talaat Sao, the best place for traditional Lao fabrics. We the head to Thaphalansay Village in Ban, where an experienced local chef will welcome us into her/his home and begin our cooking class. Over the next few hours we learn how to create three local dishes with traditional ingredients and enjoy the feast we have created together. The rest of the evening is at our leisure. (B, L)
Day 04: Vientiane/Vang Vieng (Drive 261 Kms/3 hours)
This morning we head north passing mountains and cliffs. We visit a salt field in Ban Keun. We then take a boat ride on Nam Ngum Lake, a serene, manmade reservoir, which also generates a portion of the electricity sold to Thailand, stop at the Talat fish market in Huay Mor, before continuing to Vang Vieng and check in our hotel.
Overnight: Silver Naga Hotel, Vang Vieng (1 night) (B, L)
Day 05: Vang Vieng/Phonsavanh (Drive 234 Kms/3 ½ hours)
We visit Tham Xang Cave, also called Elephant Cave, which contains a few Buddha images and a Buddha footprint in addition to elephant-shaped stalactites, which give the cave its name. We continue our drive through the colourful countryside to Phonsavanh and check in our hotel.
Overnight: Vansana Plain of Jars Hotel, Phonesavanh (2 nights) (B, L)
Note: Tham Xang Cave is NOT recommended from May to September due to high water levels and a swift current as well as bad road conditions.
Day 06: Phonsavanh
Early this morning we visit a lively open-air local market and continue to the famous Plain of Jars, a vast area extending around Phonsavanh. Mysterious and ancient, over 300 huge stone jars apparently carved out of solid rock are scattered around the plateau. The jars vary in size from 1 to 3.25 meters high and weigh up to six tons each and are estimated to be 2,500 to 3,000 years old. According to local legend, King Khun Chuang had them constructed in order to store wine for the celebration of his conquest of the province in the 6th century AD. Our tour will focus on Sites I and II. We visit Ban Na Pia (War Spoon Village) and continue to Muang Khoun, an ancient capital and stronghold for the Xieng Khuang royal family, which was destroyed during the Indochina War. The town was rebuilt after 1975 with rows of wooden Laos houses and a market area and is surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery. Our tour ends with visits to the Wat Phia Wat, That Foun and That Chomphet temples. (B, L)
Day 07: Phonsavanh/Luang Prabang (Drive 261 Kms/4 hours)
A slow journey on mountain roads to Luang Prabang offers us stunning views of the forested mountains, lush valleys and karst formations. Along the way we visit Muang Sui; scenic Nong Tang Lake, surrounded by limestone cliffs; and the extensive cave network of Tham Pha Cave, which contains a 5-m high Buddha image dating to 777 AD, surrounded by statues of smaller sizes.
Overnight: Le Sen Boutique Hotel, Luang Prabang (4 nights) (B, L)
Day 08: Luang Prabang
The Town of Luang Prabang is an UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring the fusion of traditional architecture and Lao urban structures with those built by the European colonial authorities in the 19th and 20th centuries. We explore this charming city in an eco-friendly and fun manner aboard an electric vehicle. We visit a fresh food market, first thing in the morning to enjoy great photographic opportunities, followed by a visit to the UXO Laos Visitor Center. We then head out of town to see a flute-making workshop taught by locals to learn more about their arts and crafts. We then visit Wat Visoun (Wat Wisunalat), the oldest living temple in Luang Prabang, dating to 1513 AD. We also visit the nearby Wat Aham, before continuing to Wat Xieng, featuring many ornate buildings with exquisite mosaic and gold-stenciled murals and stroll down Wat Street. We end our day climbing the steps to the small temples atop Phou Si, a hill located in the middle of the town, to enjoy the stunning views over the temples and the mighty Mekong river. (B, L)
Day 09: Luang Prabang
Today we visit the Royal Palace (National Museum), which combines traditional Lao and French beaux-arts architecture. This royal residence has been preserved as it was when the royal family last lived here. We then travel to the multi-tiered Kuang Si Waterfall, which tumbles over limestone formations into a series of turquoise pools. We may enjoy a swim in the clear water or simply relax in the beautiful surroundings. On our return we stop will at a local village (Ban Ou or Ban Na Ouane). (B, L)
Day 10: Luang Prabang
Today we travel on the Mekong River to the steep limestone cliffs, which contain the Pak Ou Caves. These extraordinary caves are filled with hundreds of Buddha images, of every style and material imaginable. On our way to the caves we stop at Ban Xang Hai Village (Closed on major Buddhist holidays), a local village famous for the production of lao lao, the local rice wine whisky. We also visit Ban Xang Khong, a village near Luang Prabang, well known for its traditional handwoven cotton, silk and the production of sa (mulberry) paper. (B, L)
Day 11: Depart Luang Prabang
After our fascinating tour, we are transferred to the airport for our flight out. (B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Departure Dates & Prices
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This tour operates on a minimum of 02 and a maximum of 06 participants
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