This is the most comprehensive tour offered for Laos. It includes all the outstanding landmarks of the north before it unveils the charm of the Laotian capital. This part is done by cruise on the mighty Mekong and by car. The 2nd part explores the southern part with its unique natural and cultural highlights and ends with a visit by the most powerful waterfall in Southeast Asia.
Early morning transfer to the Laotian border town Huay Xay where you board the river boat and are greeted by the friendly crew. Relax and enjoy the beautiful river scenery and observe the rural daily life along the banks of the worlds’ 10th longest river. The small villages are home to minority ethnic groups. On the way to Pakbeng you will have a buffet lunch on board. Late afternoon arrival in Pakbeng with check in at the hotel. During dinner on the terrace you can adore the splendid view over the Mekong.
After breakfast at the hotel is an opportunity to visit the lively market. Different ethnic groups from the surrounding small settlements trade their goods. Return to the boat for the 2nd part of the cruise. Before having another buffet lunch, there is a stop at a Hmong settlement which you can explore on foot. The next stop is by the mysterious Pak Ou caves, placed on a limestone cliff by the mouth of the Nam Ou River. The two caves contain thousands of Buddha statues, vary in sizes and shapes. Another short stop is by a small village, well known in the area for the production of rice wine. In the late afternoon arrival in Luang Prabang with transfer to the hotel for check in.
After breakfast the tour starts with the Royal Palace Museum, giving you an overview of the local past. Afterwards a leisure walk on quiet back lanes takes you to some hidden gems. The area comprises of traditional old Lao houses and beautiful French colonial buildings. There are several stops to admire the beauty such as the decorative carvings at Wat Chomkhong and the appealing Wat Phapai. At the Fine Arts School you can enjoy the high quality artwork. The final stop is at Wat Xiengthong. This gorgeous temple is built in classical Luang Prabang style and has a roof which is almost touching the ground. After heading back to the hotel.
The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Following breakfast walk through the lively Phousi Market. The guide will point out some unique goods on display. Then short drive to the silk weaving center Ock Pop Tock. All the different process steps of silk weaving will be shown and explained. On the way to the Kuang Si Waterfall is an option to visit the villages of the Khmu, Hmong and Lao Loum ethnic groups. After reaching the stunning waterfall, you can relax and swim in the clear pool or take a walk along the jungle trails. Before returning back to the hotel, stop by the nearby Bear Rescue Centre. Their main task, besides protecting the rare Asiatic Black Bear, is to rehabilitate them, after rescuing the bears from poachers. Afterwards transfer back to your hotel.
The afternoon is at your leisure.
Pick up early morning from your hotel and drive direction east to the world famous ‘Plain of Jars’ at the Xieng Khouang Plateau. It is a twisty mountain road and on several points you will get a terrific view over the surrounding mountainous area. The next stop is at the Khmu village of Ban Kiu Kharm Pom which you can explore. After a break at Phou Khoun, the road levels at 1,500 meter above sea level and leads to the province of Xiengkhuang. The next stop is at the Hmong hill tribe village of Ban Sonboun. Before reaching the provincial capital Phonsavan, you visit a hidden Cave. This served during the Vietnam War as an army hospital. Final transfer to your hotel with check in.
After breakfast visit the Mines Action Group (MAG). You will be introduced to their important task, clearing unexploded ordnance and land mines in the area. After drive to the photogenic ‘Jar Site No. 2’. An easy one hour trek leads to ‘Jar Site No. 3’ located on a hilltop and containing over 150 jars. The view over the mountainous countryside is amazing. After a break drive to the ‘Jar Site No. 1’ which is with over 300 jars the largest site. In the later afternoon reach the hotel at Phonsavan.
After an early breakfast visit the colorful Central Market, then (time permitting) drive to the former provincial capital Muang Khoun. This ancient city has some interesting ruins of Lanna style built pagodas. The ruin of Wat Phiawat contains a giant sitting Buddha. Continue the tour direction south with a rest at Phou Khoun for some refreshments. The next stop is at the picturesque Hmong settlement Ban Hin Ngon. At Koe Kuang visit a market, offering local snacks, assorted reptiles and rats. The last stop is at Phatang Mountain, providing another fantastic view over impressive limestone cliffs. At Vang Vieng check-in at the hotel for overnight, then you can explore the small town.
After breakfast head to Tham Jang cave, offering a fantastic view over the surrounding limestone formations and Nam Song River. Visit the small village of Tha Heua which specializes in dried river fish. The next stop is at the photogenic Nam Ngum, a popular daytrip destination for the Vientiane townsfolk. Here you can have a rest and something to eat, overlooking beautiful scenery with the lake. At Ban Keun visit the famous salt mine. You can observe the local daily working life. Before reaching Vientiane, there is another stop at the Don Makai Market, selling all kinds of delicious local snacks, especially insects. In the early evening arrive in Vientiane and transfer to your hotel for check-in.
Pick up after breakfast at your hotel. First visit is Wat Sisaket, Vientiane’s’ oldest temple. It houses thousands of miniature Buddha-statues. Next stop is at Wat Prakeo, the previous royal temple. Nowadays it is a museum with an impressive exhibition on antiques and art. Continue the tour and visit the Patuxai Monument, known as the Arc de Triumph of Vientiane. Time to enjoy the panoramic view from the top of the gate. The next highlight is the That Luang Stupa, the national symbol of Laos. The COPE exhibition center will be the last visit in the morning. It highlights the major problems which the locals are facing in their daily life. After return to your hotel where you can spend the afternoon at your leisure.
Early breakfast at your hotel, then transfer to the airport and flight to Pakse. After arrival at Pakse pick up at the airport or city and drive to the Bolaven Plateau in the east. This region is placed high up on the Mekong Valley and has cooler temperatures. Stop at the Houey Ten village, well known for its knife makings. Afterwards visit one of the many tea plantations and the picturesque Tad Fan Waterfall. A bit further you will inspect a coffe plantation, followed by the colorful hill tribe market at Tha Teng. On the way to our final destination are a few interesting minority villages. First is an Alak village, named Ban Bong Neua, with a sacrificial altar, then the Katu village of Ban Kokphung. Here the locals keep the coffins from their deceased relatives under their houses. Before check in at the resort in Tadlo, you can rest at the lovely Tadlo Waterfall.
Following breakfast drive to the scenic Paxuam Waterfall, then head down the plateau and visit the Wat Phou temple, one of the outstanding highlight of Laos. The Khmer temple, built in the 5th century, predates the world famous structures at Angkor in Cambodia. Continue to the 4,000 Islands archipelago on the Mekong River to your destination Don Khong. This is the largest island in the area, known as ‘Siphandon’ and literally translated as 4,000 Islands. It is a fantastic place to check out the local rural life and to relax. Check in at the hotel for overnight.
After breakfast short transfer to the river pier and boat tour around the 4,000 Islands. 1st stop is at the beautiful Don Khone Island. Easy bicycle ride along the old French built railway, passing old Colonial buildings, then stop at the picturesque Liphi Waterfall. After back to the boat with short drive to the mainland. You visit the most powerful and one of the largest waterfalls in whole Southeast Asia, the Khone Phapheng Falls. Below the falls you board another vessel and head to a special place where fresh water dolphins are living. With a bit of luck you can catch a glimpse of these fascinating animals. Afterwards drive by car direction Ban Muang, get on a boat to Don Daeng Island with a final transfer to the hotel for check in.
This day is at your leisure. Hire a bicycle and discover the small island with its charming little villages or relax by the hotel pool.
After breakfast spend the remaining hours till the transfer to Pakse and further on the airport at your own leisure.
End of service.
|Luang Prabang||Le Sen||Deluxe Room||3|
|Don Daeng Island||La Folie Lodge||Superior Bungalow||2|
|Khong Island||Pon Arena||Mekong Suite||1|
|Tadlo||Tad Lo Lodge||Standard Room||1|
|Phonsavan (Plain of Jars)||Vansana Plain of Jars Hotel||Executive Suite||2|
|Vang Vieng||Vansana Vang Vieng||Executive Suite||1|
|Pakbeng||Luang Say Lodge||Standard Bungalow||1|
Air-conditioned car /van and driver
English speaking guide (French and German speaking guides available upon request)
Rates include all entrance fees as per program.
Accommodation as listed on twin sharing basis
Daily breakfast in the hotel (B)
Other meals as per itinerary (L/D)
Domestic flights as per itinerary
Laos entry visa
Children under 12 years sharing room with 2 adults with extra bed 70% of adult rate.
Children under 12 years sharing room with 2 adults without extra bed 50% of adult rate.
Valid only if child travels with two paying adults.