- 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 - Vang Vieng
By vehicle from Vientiane to Vang Vieng
Travel from Viengtiane to Vang Vieng, 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.
Sightseeing around Vang Vieng with short trek
This small town north of Vientiane is nestled in a scenic bend in the Nam Song River. The west bank of the river is lined with tunnels and caverns and the limestone cliffs are beautiful. Enjoy a short trek through rice paddies, stopping at a Hmong village in Ban Pha Thao. Continue by walk (3 km. – 1 - 2 hours) to PHA THAO CAVE and XANG CAVE, or "Elephant Cave", which contains a few Buddha images and a Buddha footprint plus the elephant shaped stalactites which give the cave its name. Enjoy lunch. Continue to one of famous caves Chang Cave, CHANG CAVE, used as a bunker against marauding Chinese in the early 19th century.
Overnight in Vang Vieng- Day 3 - Luang Prabang
By vehicle from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang
Journey north passing through Ban Phatang and Muang Kasi. Enjoy visiting local villages on the way.
Overnight in Luang Prabang- Day 4 - 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 5 - Luang Prabang
Excursion to Kuang Si Waterfalls
From Luang Prabang to KUANG SI WATERFALL, 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.
Afternoon at leisure
Overnight in Luang Prabang- Day 6 - Pakbeng
On board the Luangsay Cruise from Luang Prabang to Pakbeng (Upstream), day 1 of 2
Embark on the Luangsay boat, a traditional style wooden boat with open decks and beautiful views. Cruise upstream towards Pakbeng stopping at BAN BAW to observe the making of traditional Lao rice wine and whisky. Continue to the famous PAK OU caves, natural shrines which have been filled over the centuries with hundreds of Buddha images in every style and material. Lunch is served on board, followed by a visit to a fishing village before arriving in Pakbeng in the late afternoon. • Overnight in Pakbeng- Day 7 - Huay Xai
On board the Luangsay Cruise from Pakbeng to Huay Xai (Upstream), day 2 of 2
First thing in the morning the Pak Ou boat leaves the pier for a leisurely cruise up the Mekong towards Huay Xai (Lao-Thai border). 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. Arrival in Huay Xai is in the late afternoon.
Overnight in Huay Xai- Day 8 - Tachileik
Sightseeing in Huay Xai by tuk tuk
Huay Xai is a bustling riverside town which used to be the disembarkation point for Yunnanese caravans led by the Hui (Chinese Muslims) on their way to ancient Siam. Today there is still a fair amount of trade in Chinese goods. Visit the morning MARKET (Talaat Muang Bokeo),and WAT CHOM KHAO MANILAT, a temple constructed in 1880 overlooking the town and the river with many brightly colored jataka paintings decorating the exterior of the sim. Explore some of the surrounding countryside, stopping at minority villages if time permits.
By vehicle from Chiang Khong (border Thailand / Laos) to Mae Sai (border Thailand / Myanmar)
Arrival in Tachileik (Myanmar/Thai border)
Sightseeing in Tachileik
Visit the Myanmar-Thai border bridge, see the Two Dragon Monastery, Baying Naung Statue and take in the atmosphere of this typical Golden Triangle town.
Overnight in Tachileik- Day 9 - Kengtung
Flight from Tachileik to Kengtung
Overnight in Kengtung- Day 10 - Kengtung
Sightseeing in Kengtung
Tucked away in the far eastern corner of Shan State, Kengtung is a sleepy but historic centre for the state's Khun culture, surrounded by Wa, Shan, Akha and Lahu villages. It is a very scenic town as it is built around a small lake and is dotted with ageing Buddhist temples and crumbling British colonial architecture.
WAT JONG KHAM: features a tall gilded zedi topped by a gold hti inlaid with silver, rubies, diamonds, sapphires and jade, and hung with tiny gold bells. Legend says Jong Kham dates to a visit by Gautama Buddha and that the zedi contains six strands of his hair.
WAT PHA JAO LUNG: 19th century temple which gets its Burmese name Maha Myat Muni from a 1920 replica of the Mandalay Maha Myat Muni image.
WATER BUFFALO MARKET: daily on the western outskirts of town. An interesting place to wander and watch the negotiations.
YAN GONE POTTERY VILLAGE: Observe traditional Shan methods of pottery manufacture
Overnight in Kengtung- Day 11 - Kengtung
Excursion to Ho Kyin to visit Akha, Wa, and Lahu villages
Travel by vehicle outside Kentung, and trek for about an hour and a half to the Akha village of Ho Kyin. After exploring the village continue for another half hour to Na Phi Phank village, home to both Lahu and Akha peoples. Continue past two more Akha villages and continue by vehicle to the Khun village of Mong Zine to observe how local blacksmiths make traditional Lahu knives. Return to Kengtung by vehicle, stopping at teh Wa village of Joe Phyu on the way.
AKHA: Tthe Akha have no written language so their history was carried to this century on the backs of many colorful legends, proverbs and rituals handed down from one generation to the other. Akha are able to at least recite the male line of their family back to the "beginning."
LAHU: Lahu women are skilled in weaving cloth, both on back-strap and foot-treadle looms, producing delicate patchwork trims, and unusual embroidery work. The Black Lahu women wear the most distinctive costumes within this tribe. They wear a black cloak with diagonal cream stripes. The top of the sleeve is decorated in bold colours of red and yellow. Lahu men produce excellent crossbows, musical instruments, and other items made of wood, bamboo and rattan. WA: They are darker-complexioned and stocky; one of the better known of the smaller ethnic groups. They used to practice headhunting as a part of their fertility rites until fairly recently.
Overnight in Kengtung- Day 12 - Phnom Penh
Flight from Kengtung to Heho
By vehicle from Heho to Inle Lake
Transfer by boat
Overnight in Inle Lake- Day 13 - Inle Lake
Excursion by boat on Inle Lake
Inle Lake, located in Shan State, is beautiful, with very calm waters dotted with patches of floating vegetation and fishing canoes. High hills rim the lake on all sides. The lake's shore and islands bear 17 villages on stilts, mostly inhabited by the Intha people. Enjoy the spectacular scenery and observe the skilled fisherman using their leg-rowing technique to propel themselves around the lake. Visit the floating gardens, a floating market and a Intha village around the lake (please note that no markets take place on full moon or new moon days). The day's sightseeing also includes a visit to the PHAUNG DAW OO PAGODA and the NGA PHE KYAUNG MONASTERY
Overnight in Inle Lake- Day 14 - Inle Lake
Excursion to Kakku
Journey into the mountains through beautiful landscapes, passing to Pa O villages with the opportunity to visit a market on the way (depending on the market date). Explore the magnificent KAKKU TEMPLE COMPLEX, a collection of over 2000 Buddhist stupas dates from the 12th and 13th centuries and is concentrated in the space of one square kilometer. Many Buddha statues lie scattered in and around the ruins, which are themselves overgrown with vegetation. Depending on time available, enjoy a short walk to Pa O villages on the way back before returning to Inle Lake.
Overnight in Inle Lake- Day 15 - Yangon
Transfer by boat By vehicle from Inle Lake to Heho
Flight from Heho to Yangon
Afternoon at leisure
Overnight in Yangon- Day 16 - Yangon
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.
- Domestic airfares as states in the itinerary in economy class.
- 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.