- Day 1 - Vientiane
Arrival in Vientiane
Sightseeing in Vientiane
The capital city of Laos, Vientiane still feels like a sleepy city with relaxed charm, tree-lined boulevards, interesting wats and colorful markets. Tour the different highlights of the city, including Pha That Luang, a gleaming golden stupa which is perhaps most important national monument in Laos; Ho Pha Keo, the formal royal temple, now a museum with beautiful examples of Buddhist sculpture; Wat Si Saket; and Patuxai, a monumental arch inspired by the Arc de Triomphe, but executed with Lao motifs.
Overnight in Vientiane- Day 2 - Vientiane
Excursion to Buddha Park
This day's excursion is to visit an open-air museums, Wat Xieng Khuan (Buddha Park). This is a collection of whimsical but compelling statues of Buddhist and Hindu gods.
Afternoon at leisure
Overnight in Vientiane- Day 3 - Vang Vieng
By vehicle from Vientiane to Vang Vieng with a boat trip on Nam Ngum Lake Drive to the north through the scenic province of Vientiane. The climate is pleasant and the views are nice, with mountains and cliffs along the first part of the journey.
Stop at salt field in Ban Keun.
Continue for a boat ride on Nam Ngum Lake, a serene, man-made reservoir which also generates most of the electricity sold to Thailand.
Overnight in Vang Vieng- Day 4 - Phonsavanh
Visit Pha Thao Cave: Enjoy a short trek through rice paddies with a stop at a Hmong village in Ban Pha Thao and continue to visit the cave of Tham Pha Thao.
Visit Xang Cave: also called Elephant Cave, it contains a few Buddha images and a Buddha footprint plus the elephant shaped stalactites which give the cave its name.
By vehicle from Vang Vieng to Phonsavanh (Xieng Khuang) Travel from Vang Vieng to Phonsavanh, with a stop at local villages on the way.
Overnight in Phonsavanh- Day 5 - Phonsavanh
Sightseeing in the Plain of Jars (Sites I and II) and Muang Khoun
Spend the day visiting the famous Plain of Jars, a vast area extending around Phonsavanh from the south-west to the north-east. 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. There are several different theories as to the purpose of the jars, which 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. Today's tour will focues on Site I and Site II, out of the many sites so far discovered.
Afterwards continue to Muang Khoun, an ancient capital and stronghold for the Xieng Khuang royal family was destroyed during the Indochina War. The town was rebuilt after 1975 with rows of wooden Lao houses and a market area and is surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery.
Visit Wat Phia That and That Foun.
Overnight in Phonsavanh- Day 6 - Luang Prabang
Visit the local market
Visit this lively open-air local market.
By vehicle from Phonsavanh (Xieng Khuang) to Luang Prabang with sightseeing at Muang Sui
A slow journey along mountain roads with stunning views of the forested mountains, lush valleys and karst formations.
Stop at Muang Sui, visiting Wat Ban Phong, the second oldest temple in the province; the scenic Nong Tang Lake, rimmed with limestone cliffs; and the extensive cave network of Pha Cave. Only discovered recently, this cave contains a 5m high Buddha image dating from 777 AD, surrounded by gold and wooden statues of smaller size.
Overnight in Luang Prabang- Day 7 - Luang Prabang
Sightseeing in Luang Prabang
Set between the Nam Khan and Nam Ou rivers, Luang Prabang is an enchanting town filled with historic temples and colonial style buildings. The entire town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. Start the day at Wat Visoun (Wat Wisunalat). The oldest living temple in Luang Prabang, Wat Visoun dates back to 1513 and contains a collection of antique wooden Buddhas. Visit the nearby Wat Aham before continuing to Wat Xieng Thong, the crowning jewel of all the monasteries and temples in the city. Its many ornate buildings feature exquisite mosaic and gold-stenciled murals. From there, stroll down the main street of Luang Prabang, stopping at some of the many temples that line its sides, including Wat Sibounheuang, Wat Si Moungkhoun, Wat Sop and Wat Sene.
Continue to the National Museum (Royal Palace), a modest but graceful building which combines traditional Lao and French beaux-arts motifs. This turn-of-the century royal residence has been preserved as it was when the royal family last lived here and provides unique insights into the history of Laos. (Closed on Tuesdays). Afterwards, visit Wat Mai.
Visit Mount Phousi for sunset
Climb the hillside stairs to the small temples atop Phou Si, the 100m high hill which sits in the middle of the town, offering beautiful views over the temples and river.
Overnight in Luang Prabang- Day 8 - Luang Prabang
Excursion by boat to the Pak Ou Caves
Travel down the Mekong River to the steep limestone cliffs overlooking the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers, home to the Pak Ou Caves. These extraordinary caves are filled with Buddha images, of every style and material imaginable. On the return journey, stop at Ban Xang Hai, a local village famous for the production of lao lao, the local rice wine whisky.
Visit Ban Xang Khong, a village near Luang Prabang well known for its traditional handwoven cotton and silk, as well as production of the local sa (mulberry) paper.
Overnight in Luang Prabang- Day 9 - Luang Prabang
Transfer to the airport for departure flight to onward destinationIncluded in the price
(B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner):
Not included in the price:
- Accommodation and meals as described (please note that some hotels provide only CBF).
- All transfers within the journey, including pick-up at airport.
- All entrance fees.
- English, French or German speaking guides (other languages available upon request).
- Visa fees.
- Airport taxes.
- Personal expenses such as drinks, laundry, souvenirs.