VIENTIANE - VANG VIENG - LUNG PRABANG - NONG KHIOW - OUDOMXAY - PAKBENG - HOUEISAY
7 DAYS | 6 NIGHTS
Experience the best of Lao culture, history and attractions on this highlights of Laos, explore the splendors of this intriguing country and discover the charm of Luang Prabang, uncover the incredible Pak Ou Caves, visit the Plain of Jars, an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are littered throughout the plateau, and the unassuming capital of Vientiane.
On arrival in Vientiane, you will be met by our guide and transferred to your hotel. After a short rest, we see the major city sights; including Wat Sisaket, which contains more than 8000 Buddha statues, Wat Ho Prakeo the former home of the Emerald Buddha statue and That Luang Stupa, the single most important monument in Laos. We also see the Patuxay (Lao Arc de Triomphe), which was built in commemoration of those who died during past wars; today it is the city’s main landmark. We will make sure to watch the sunset by the Mekong Riverside and spend the evening absorbing the city’s nightlife.
Overnight in Vientiane
We leave this wonderful town after breakfast for our journey northbound towards Vang Vieng. We pass by breathtaking scenery as we head through the countryside and into the mountains. We make a stop along the way at Vang Xang, a famous archeological site dating back to the 11th century. We reach the small and tranquil village of Vang Vieng in the afternoon. The surrounding landscape is sublime and mostly untouched, which makes this place an absolute natural paradise. On arrival, we’ll go straight to the Tham Jang caves and enjoy a short trek to explore the Tam None Cave and some local villages. Today ends with a superb sunset panorama reflecting in the Nam Song River.
Overnight in Vang Vieng
Today we will set off early towards Luang Prabang, which is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. The roads are well paved along the way making for a smooth journey. The incredible scenery will captivate you, with steep terraced fields and hill villages. There will be plenty of time for photo ops, so have your camera ready. We stop briefly in Muang Xieng Nguen village to observe the local lifestyle. Upon arrival in Luang Prabang, we have enough time to explore some landmarks, including the impressive Wat Visoun stupa, the shrine of Wat Aham, Wat Sene, the city's oldest temple and Wat Mai. A visit to Luang Prabang would be incomplete with ascending 329 steps to the top of Phousi Hill for a beautiful sunset view of the city and its reflection in the Mekong River. In the evening, we explore the Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of souvenirs and handmade textiles.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily alms giving ritual to saffron-clad monks. This tradition is unique to Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving this procession. You will visit the morning Phosi Market where you will find dried buffalo skins, local teas and saltpeter among the many foodstuffs and hill-tribe textiles. Today you will meet some ethnic minority groups in the Ban Ouay, Hmong, Ban Ou, Laoloum, Ban Thapene and Khmu Villages. After visiting the villages, we then drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfalls where you can swim in the turquoise pools or walk along forest paths. We continue to Ban Phanom, another well-known weaving village and return to Luang Prabang in the late evening to observe the sunset at Wat Phabath.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Today, we enjoy a short-guided tour of the city's oldest temple, Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong where you can see the impressive “tree of life” mosaic set in colored glass. We then board an upstream cruise on the Mekong River, which gives us a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside. We’ll make sure to stop at the Pak Ou Caves, sanctuaries consisting of two large caverns, both repositories for thousands of Buddha images. We will also stop at a few villages during the day, including Ban Xanghai where the local rice wine is produced. Along the way to Nong Khiow we visit Thai Lu village and the weaving villages of Ban Nongkham and Ban Muang Souen. We’ll reach Nong Khiow in the late afternoon. It is a remote town with a great view of the dramatic valley and surrounding mountainous scenery. Overnight in Nong Khiow
We leave Nong Khiow after breakfast and drive towards Oudomxay, the most mountainous area in Laos. The road conditions vary, so it may be a rough journey. Oudomxay province is residence to 23 ethnic minority groups and we’ll make a few rest stops along the way so that you can meet with some of them. Hill tribe people are unfailingly friendly, welcoming you with waving hands and smiling faces. On arrival in Oudomxay city, we immediately head out to Pakbeng, again stopping at a few villages to explore. Once we get to Pakbeng, we browse through the evening market before checking in into your hotel.
Overnight in Pakbeng.
Today, we embark on a traditional boat for an upstream cruise on the Mekong. Both banks of the river are bordered with beautiful mountain ranges and lush forest. Along the way, we observe the peaceful river life and visit Ban Houeilampen to visit some Hmong people. On arrival in HoueiSay, we board a ferryboat to cross the Mekong River to Chiang Khong, Thailand.
Transfers and ground transport by private air-conditioned vehicles
Accommodation based on twin/double sharing room with daily breakfast
All meals mentioned in the itinerary
English speaking guide throughout the itinerary
All entrance fees, private boat trip as indicated in itinerary
Alms giving participants
2 bottle mineral water per day per person
Government tax and service charge
We saw, learned, heard, tasted a lot and really got to know these 2 countries better. Thanks a lot for organizing our tour.
My husband and I are now home and we'd like to thank you for an extraordinary trip in Vietnam and Cambodia. Thu, you did a terrific job in planning it and all details were perfect and everything happened like clockwork. We loved...
We just got back. I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it was. We loved every place we stayed. You're a gem. As to the countries themselves: I was totally thrilled, fascinated, absorbed. Hope to do another trip to the...
Loraine F. Gardner
I wanted to specifically tell you how wonderful my tour guide Tien from Hue was. We were lucky enough to have him for Hue, Danang and Hoi An. He was sweet, caring, knowledgeable, dedicated and passionate about his country. I felt...
Dr. Halli Zung