- 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 - Luang Prabang
Flight from Vientiane to 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.
Begin your tour with 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 (Wat Street) of Luang Prabang. Time permitting, stop at some of the many temples that line its sides, including Wat Sibounheuang, Wat Si Moungkhoun, Wat Sop and Wat Sene.
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 3 - Luang Prabang
Excursion to Kuang Si Waterfalls with boat ride
From Luang Prabang to Kuang Si Waterfalls, travel by boat to visit minorities village of Ban Muang Khai.
Continue by car to Kuang Si Waterfall, located in a perfect natural setting near Luang Prabang, this multi-tiered waterfall tumbles over limestone formations into a series of turquoise pools. Enjoy swimming in the clear water or just relaxing in the natural environment.
Continue to Ban Tha Pene, a nearby Khmu village, before returning to Luang Prabang by vehicle.
Note: It is depending on the water level in the Mekong River. During dry season (October April), boat will land at Ban Xom whereas in rainy season (May September), boat will land at Ban Muang Khai.
Sightseeing in Luang Prabang
In the morning, visit a Local Market to see the bustle and activity of the early morning.
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.
Overnight in Luang Prabang- Day 4 - Oudomxai
By vehicle from Luang Prabang to Oudomxai (Muang Xai)
Travel through the scenic Laos countryside, stopping at minority villages enroute. Just before arriving in Oudomxai, stop at Tad Lak Sip-et Waterfall, which cascades in a narrow stream over a limestone cliff.
Overnight in Oudomxai- Day 5 - Muang Sing
By vehicle from Oudomxai (Muang Xai) to Muang Sing
Sightseeing in Muang Sing
The town of Muang Sing, home to the Thai Lue peoples, draws peoples from around the region to trade, including Thai Dam, Lao Huan (Lenten), Akha, H'Mong, Mien, Lolo and Yunnanese.
Tour the town, visiting the Local Market, the main Buddhist Temples, Wat Xieng Jai and Wat Nam Kaew Luang, before striking out into the countryside and visiting some of the different minority villages in the area.
Overnight in Muang Sing- Day 6 - Luang Nam Tha
By vehicle from Muang Sing to Luang Nam Tha
Travel to Luang Nam Tha along winding roads through beautiful tropical forests, passing hill tribe villages en route.
Sightseeing in Luang Nam Tha
The provincial capital of Luang Nam Tha Province, this town is expanding rapidly in its role as a centre for commerce between China, Thailand and Laos.
Visit the Local Market and Phoum Pouk Pagoda, first built in 1624, now in ruins after the Indochina War.
Continue to the Luang Nam Tha Museum for an overview of the different ethnic minorities that inhabit the area.
In the afternoon, explore the many minority villages in the area, including a Black Tai Village. The Black Tai are known for their silk production and weaving. Sometimes water wheels can be seen milling rice.
Continue to a 200 year old Lenten village, whose inhabitants are known for paper making and indigo dyes; and a Khmu Village known for basketry and water gourds. Time permitting, visits can be arranged to a Hmong Village with a handicrafts cooperative, which has a selection of handicrafts from surrounding ethnic groups and/or another Lenten Village near a nice waterfall (cold season only).
Overnight in Luang Nam Tha- Day 7 - Nong Khiaw
By vehicle from Luang Nam Tha to Nong Khiaw with sightseeing at Ban Na Yang
Overnight in Nong Khiaw- Day 8 - Luang Prabang
By boat from Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang with sightseeing at the Pak Ou Caves.
From Nong Khiaw, cruise along the Nam Ou River to Luang Prabang, stopping en route at 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.
Continue to Ban Xang Hai, a local village famous for the production of "lao-lao", the local rice wine whisky, before arriving in Luang Prabang.
Overnight in Luang Prabang- Day 9 - Vang Vieng
By vehicle from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng
Travel from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng, with a stop at local villages on the way.
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.
Overnight in Vang Vieng- Day 10 - Vientiane
Visit Chang Cave: used as a bunker against marauding Chinese in the early 19th century. Tham means cave and Chang is steadfast.
By vehicle from Vang Vieng to Vientiane
Travel from Vang Vieng to Viengtiane, stop for a visit to Vang Xang, 11th century Buddhist archaeological site where primitive Buddha images are carved on the cliff.
Continue to visit Fish Market in Huay Mor.
Overnight in Vientiane- Day 11 - Tad Lo
Flight from Vientiane to Pakse.
By vehicle from Pakse to Tad Lo with sightseeing on the Bolaven Plateau and surrounding waterfalls
From Pakse, head east across the Bolaven Plateau, a fertile coffee and tea growing area. This area is rich in ethnic groups, predominently Laven.
Enroute the road between Pakse and Paksong on the western edge of the plateau, visit Tad E-Tu Waterfall.
Continue to Tad Fane Waterfall, the highest in Champasak Province, and the nearby Tad Yuang Waterfall.
Afterwards head north towards Salavan with a stopping at the minority villages and a visit to Tad Lo and Tad Hang Waterfall.
Overnight in Tad Lo- Day 12 - Don Khong
Sightseeing around Tad Lo
Tad Lo Falls: these pleasant falls offer good opportunity for a swim.
Elephant-ride: starting at the Tad Lo Resort, explore the surrounding area on elephant-back.
By vehicle from Tad Lo to Pakse
By vehicle from Pakse to Don Khong with sightseeing at Wat Phou From Pakse, journey south along the east bank of the Mekong.
Near Champasak city, cross by ferry and continue to Wat Phou (meaning "Mountain Temple"), one of the best preserved examples of major Khmer architecture, some 200 years older than Angkor Wat itself. The core monument of this site consists of a main temple on the upper terrace, six shrines on the middle terrace, two palaces and Nandin Hall on the lower terrace. Surrounding the Wat Phou temple complex are the ruins of associated temple monuments, such as the Haw Nang Stupa, Hawng Thaan Tao and Wat Hong Nang Sida.
Continue back across the Mekong and southwards towards Don Khong.
Overnight in Don Khong- Day 13 - Don Khong
Excursion by boat to Don Khone
From Don Khong, travel by boat to Don Det Island and Don Khon Island. The islands are connected by a former railway bridge (the railway stopped operating 1945). The larger island Don Det is famous throughout Laos for the cultivation of coconut, bamboo and kapok.
Visit Ban Khon Village, the main village on Don Khon Island with several old French villas.
Continue to Taat Somphamit (Li Phi Falls), raging set of rapids at the western end of Don Khon Island.
Overnight in Don Khong- Day 14 - Pakse
By vehicle from Don Khong to Pakse with a visit to Khone Phapheng Waterfalls From Don Khong, cross the Mekong by ferry and continue by vehicle to Khone Phapheng, the largest waterfall in Southeast Asia and one of the most impressive sites in the area. Here, the entire Mekong with all its force cascades down curving stone outcroppings and tints the massive stones with rainbows.
Continue north by vehicle to Pakse.
Sightseeing in Pakse (incl. Ban Saphai) Founded by the French in 1905 as an administrative post, the capital of Champasak Province is a relatively new town at the confluence of the Mekong and Se Don rivers.
Spend the day exploring the highlights of the town, including the Central Market, Wat Luang, Wat Tham Fai, the Champasak Historical heritage Museum (closed to visitors during weekend and public holidays), the trading post of Ban Muang Kao, the weaving village of Ban Saphai.
Overnight in Pakse- Day 15 - Pakse
Transfer to the airport for departure flight to onward destination Included in the price:
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.