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Laos North to South

Duration: 12 days 11 nights

Destination: Pakbeng - Pakse

A seven day spectacular tour of Laos most of which is on a traditional boat: the trip takes you around Luang Prabang, Pakbeng, Vang Vieng and Vientiane. The tour gives a comprehensive look at the Laotian lifestyle, nature, minorities, history and the mighty Mekong. Meet the traditional minority villages of H’Mong, Lu and Khmou, Lao Lu at Ban Lat and Hane Yao. In Luang Prabang - Vat Visoune, Vat Aham, Phousi hill for overlooking the view of Luang Prabang, Vat Mai Souvannaphoumarame, National Museum and local market are highlights. Vientiane has 8 – 11th century Art of Mone-Khmer, Vat Sisaket, Ho Phrakeo, That Luang stupa, Patouxai, Ban Nong Boua Thong the weaving village, National Cultural Ethnic Park and Friendship bridge over the Mekong river.

Iteniraries

- Price:

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 Package  1 pax  2 pax  3-6 pax  SGL S/C
Var A $3165 $1935 $1675 $315
Var B $3295 $2015 $1765 $365
Var C $3545 $2145 $1895 $485

- Day 1 - Pakbeng
Arrival in Huay Xai (Laos/Thai border)
On board the Luangsay
Cruise from Huay Xai to Pakbeng (Downstream), day 1 of 2
First thing in the morning the Pak Ou boat leaves the pier for a leisurely cruise down the Mekong for Pakbeng. • Several stops along the way offer the opportunity to sample rural life first hand and marvel at just how little has changed over the centuries.
Overnight in Pakbeng

- Day 2 - Luang Prabang
On board the Luangsay
Cruise from Pakbeng to Luang Prabang (Downstream), day 2 of 2
The boat leaves in the morning for the second leg of the cruise to Luang Prabang.
Lunch on board and on to Pak Ou village at the mouth of the Nam Ou River to visit the famous Pak Ou Caves.
Stop off at the village of Ban Xang Hai for a lesson in how rice whisky is made.
Arrival in Luang Prabang is in the late afternoon.
Transfer
Overnight in Luang Prabang

- Day 3 - 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.
Overnight in Luang Prabang

- Day 4 - Luang Prabang
Excursion to Kuang Si Waterfalls
From Luang Prabang to Kuang Si Waterfalls, travel by vehicle 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.
Visit the weaving village of 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 5 - 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 6 - 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 7 - 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 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; Wat Si Muang, and Patuxai, a monumental arch inspired by the Arc de Triomphe, but executed with Lao motifs.
End your day at the Talaat Sao, or the morning market (actually open all day), the best place to buy traditional Lao fabrics.
Overnight in Vientiane

- Day 8 - Tad Lo
Transfer
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 9 - 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 Nand Sida.
Continue back across the Mekong and southwards towards Don Khong.
Overnight in Don Khong

- Day 10 - Don Khong
Excursion by boat to Don Khon
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 11 - 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 12 - Pakse
Transfer to the airport for departure flight to onward destination

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).
Not included in the price:
  • Visa fees.
  • Airport taxes.
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, laundry, souvenirs.

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