ITINERARY IN DETAIL
DAY 01. ARRIVAL - LUANG PRABANG (-/-/-)
Welcome to Laos - Luang Prabang, the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. The tranquility and charm of this town with its splendid natural scenery and cultural sights make it one of the most delightful places to visit in Laos. You will be transferred to the hotel and after a short rest, we visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham, Wat Mai. We then climb up to the top of Mountain Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a beautiful view of the sunset of the city and Mekong River. We explore the night market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by the local and hill tribal people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
DAY 02. LUANG PRABANG - PAKOU - LUANG PRABANG (B/-/-)
After breakfast, we enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, representing classical Laotian architecture. We then board a cruise upstream on the Mekong river, which gives us a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious Pak Ou caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. En route, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where the local specialty of rice wine is produced. Back to Luang Prabang city we take a short drive to Ban Phanom, Ban Xangkhong, Ban Xienglek, the villages well known for its hand weaving, silk weavings and for Saa (jute) papermaking. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
DAY 03. LUANG PRABANG – KHOUANGSI WATERFALLS (B/-/-)
Early wake up for a fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clothed monks who collect offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. You will visit the morning Phousi Market where you will see such local different products as dried buffalo skin, local tea and salt among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings. Laos is also known for its traditional handicrafts, and today you will visit local village of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay and Ban Thapene. You also drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you can splash around in the turquoise pools or walk along the forest paths. We return to Luang Prabang by late afternoon and continue to Ban Phanom, a well-known weaving village, and then return to the city by late evening for observing the sunset at Wat Siphouthabath. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
DAY 04. LUANG PRABANG – XIENGKHOUANG (ROAD) (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we visit the National museum at the former Royal palace, which displays a lovely collection of artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings through the last sovereign. After visiting these sights we drive 306km uphill a mountain surrounded by wonderful natural scenery to Xiengkhouang, which was devastated by American bombing between 1964 and 1973. Upon arrival, we transfer out to visit the Plain of Jars, an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are scattered all over the plateau. If time permits, we will see the old capital of Muang Khoun and the nearby villages, home to the Hmong hill tribe people who have an interesting local culture and a colorful history. Overnight in Xiengkhuang.
DAY 05. XIENGKHOUANG – VIENTIANE (FLIGHT) (B/-/-)
Following breakfast, we visit the Central market. You will have free time to explore the town further before catching our flight back to Vientiane. After checking into the hotel, we continue our sightseeing tour of the surrounding areas of Vientiane with visit the impressive Lao - Thai Friendship bridge and the Buddha Park, a scattered enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures on the Mekong riverside meadow, close to the Friendship bridge. There are approximately 200 religious images dating back over 500 years, which were created by a mysterious monk spreading his philosophy on life and revealing his ideas about the universe. A spectacular view of over the Mekong river at sunset is a perfect way to finish this day. Overnight in Vientiane.
DAY 06. VIENTIANE - CITY TOUR (B/-/-)
After breakfast, we continue to explore Vientiane capital by visiting the major sights of the capital including the oldest Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. En route to Lao’s national precious heritage - the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, you will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph.In the afternoon we continue visiting the rest of Vientiane by walking with Wat Ong Tue, Wat Inpeng and Wat Haisok. We pass by the major shopping area continuing to the Vientiane central market of Talad Sao and Talad Kouadin where various goods are displayed for sale including fresh food, household goods, souvenirs, textiles, gold, silver and antiques. Overnight in Vientiane.
DAY 07. VIENTIANE – PAKSE – KHONG ISLAND (FLIGHT) (B/-/-)
We catch an early flight to Pakse. On arrival, we drive on the National Road No.13 southbound to Champassak and visit the fascinating pre-Angkorian ruins of Wat Phu, one of Southeast Asia's most dramatically situated temples. We have time to explore these intriguing Khmer ruins, which are perched at the base of Mount Phu Kao. Wat Phu is one of the Lao World Heritage sites recognized by UNESCO in 2001, this wonderful archeological site of Khmer civilization dates back to the 10th century, predating the famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia. We continue our journey by long tail boat to Don Khong, the largest island in the South Mekong river region also known as the 4000 islands, one of the most scenic areas in Laos. Overnight in Khong Island.
DAY 08. KHONG ISLAND – SURROUNDING (BOAT) (B/-/-)
After an early breakfast, we explore the local villages of Ban Khone, where you will see an array of relics from the French colonial era and retrace the old colonial past, including old French colonial buildings and the remnants of the first Lao railway with it’s locomotive. We continue discover the 4000 islands area by boat to visit the Liphi waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfalls marking the end of Lao border to Cambodia, also known as the Samphamith. If we are lucky, we may even see the rare freshwater Irrawaddy Mekong dolphin at Ban Hang Khone. We return to Ban Nakasang and drive to famous waterfall of Khone Phapeng, the largest one in South East Asia. Overnight in Khong Island.
DAY 09. KHONG ISLAND - TADLO – PAKSE (B/-/-)
Upon leaving Done Khone Island, we continue our journey towards Tadlo, through Boloven plateau. The Boloven Plateau is known for its cooler temperature being located above the Mekong valley. Rivers run off this high plateau in all directions and then plunge out to lush forests along in a series of spectacular surging waterfalls. A trip to the plateau provides a refreshing break from the heat and allows you to observe the cultivation of coffee, tea, cardamom, bananas, and other crops that can be seen en route. This trip gives visitors the chance to venture off the beaten track and to discover some of the lesser-known areas of Laos, exploring the wild beauty of this southern region. Upon arrival at Tad Lo waterfall, we visit the villages of Alak, Nge, and Katu, populated by ethnic minority groups. We return to Pakse by late evening. Overnight in Pakse.
DAY10. PAKSE – DEPARTURE (B/-/-)After breakfast there will be free time for your own exploration of Pakse town before catching a flight to Siem Reap-Cambodia or exiting Laos overland from the Chongmek International checkpoint to Ubon Rathani Thailand. End of services.
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