Best of Laos: After years of war and isolation, Southeast Asia’s most pristine environment, intact cultures and quite possibly the most chilled-out people on earth mean destination Laos is fast earning cult status among travellers. It is developing quickly but still has much of the tradition that has sadly disappeared elsewhere in the region. Village life is refreshingly simple and even in Vientiane it’s hard to believe this sort of languid riverfront life exists in a national capital. Then, of course, there is the historic royal city of Luang Prabang, where watching as hundreds of saffron-robed monks move silently among centuries-old monasteries is as romantic a scene as you’ll experience anywhere in Asia.
- Travel Style: Cultural & Classic Travel
- Duration: 12days - 11nights
- Start / Finish: Vientiane / Parkse
- Departure: Departs daily on a private basis
- Explore the world Khuang Si Water Fall
- Discovery the Unesco Heritage site of Luang Prabang
- Boat Trip upstream in Mekong River
- Participating in the traditional Lao rite of passage by giving alms to the monks in the early morning
- Wandering the quiet streets of ancient Luang Prabang
- Visiting ancient wats (temples), exploring markets and hilltribe villages
- Discovery the plain of Jars
- Enjoy elephant ride in Ban Khiet Ngong
- Exploring Khong Islands and surrounding
- Learn about freshwater dolphin
Day 1: Vientiane Arrival
Day 2: Vientiane – Vang Vieng
Day 3: Vang Vieng – Phonsavan – Plain of Jars
Day 4: Phonsavan – Plain of Jars
Day 5: Phonsavan – Luang Prabang
Day 6: Luang Prabang City Tour
Day 7: Luang Prabang – Khuang Si Water Fall
Day 8: Luang Prabang: Pak Ou Caves
Day 9: Luang Prabang – Flight to Pakse – Champassak – Ban Khiat Ngong.
Day 10: Khong Islands and surrounding
Day 11: Donkhong - Ban Khiat Ngong – Pakse
Day 12: Pakse Departure
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The stages of your trip:Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Phonsavan, Luang Prabang, Khuang Si, Pak Ou, Champassak, Ban Khiat Ngong, Khong Islands, Pakse
Welcome to Laos’s capital. Vientiane retains an old-world charm that is becoming increasingly rare. With its wide, open boulevards and many golden temples, this sleepy city hardly feels like a modern capital.
Start your tour with the city’s oldest temple, Wat Sisaket - filled with thousands of miniature Buddha statues. Then explore the former royal temple, Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha. En route to the famous That Luang Stupa, stop to visit the imposing Patuxay Monument, known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph.
Meals : No meal
Accomodation : Hotel in Vientiane.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel then head north to the sleepy riverside hamlet of Vang Vieng, a small town next to the Nam Song River that is surrounded by jagged limestone karsts.
Upon arrival in Vang Vieng, become acquainted with the city on a brief tour before you check in to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore the town.
Accommodation: Hotel in Vang Vieng
Today we embark on the 7 to 8 hour journey by car to Phonsavan. Along the way enjoy the beautiful scenery and see local village life. Xieng Khouang, the gateway to the Plain of Jars, is a town that has been totally rebuilt after it was destroyed during the secret war in Laos. Later in the afternoon, we arrive at Phonsavan, the capital of the Xieng Khoung province. Take a city tour and have the option of visiting MAG, a humanitarian organization clearing the remnants of conflict for the benefit of local communities worldwide (the Mines Advisory Group). The evening is free for you to enjoy as you please.
Accommodation: Hotel in Phonsavan
After breakfast, we will take a short trek to explore the mysterious Plain of Jars and the surrounding area. The jars are thought to be 2000 years old, although there is little proof to date them very accurately. Archaeologist still struggle to confirm the specific purpose of the jars. Were they used for funerary urns or to store rice wine? It remains a mystery until now. Observe local village life; visit a small monastery in Ban Xieng Di and pass areas that were important battlefields during the American war.
We continue on to Muang Khoun, the one place in the old provincial capital that was not been destroyed by American bombings.
Accommodation: Hotel in Phonsavan
Following breakfast, drive to Luang Prabang (approx 6 or 7 hours) with a stopover for lunch at Sala Phou Khou. After lunch we continue on our way to Luang Prabang via Road 13 whilst enjoying the beautiful landscape.
Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang
- Local touch
Following breakfast at the hotel, we will visit the former king’s palace, which is now a museum. The many items nicely displayed include rare furniture, traditional costumes, arts, jewelry, ornaments as well as working tools and utensils of the early part of the 20th century. Then we embark on a tour of this enthralling town to visit Wats Xieng Thong, the Golden City Monastery, which dates back to the 16th century and is considered to be the finest in Laos. Furthermore, we visit the fine temples of Wats Mai, Vixen, and the national Stupa of That Luang. Later that day, we adjourn to the Phousi Holy Hill to enjoy the marvelous panoramic views of the town at sunset.
Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang.
Optional: rising early at around 05.30AM to witness and participate in offering alms to hundreds of saffron-robed monks (the Buddhist monks) receive alms from local people – an awe-inspiring sight for many travelers.
Please tell your guide if you wish to make an offer so he/she can prepare some food for you. This early morning ritual dates back generations in Laos. Watch the town come to life in the morning and then return to hotel for breakfast
After breakfast, take a rural drive (30 km South) to visit Kuangsi Waterfall, though not very high but spectacular and really beautiful with its green surroundings as the preserved National park. We stop en-route to visit a fresh produced market namely Talad Phosy, and also visit Ban Na Oune, a small village of a hill-tribe group “Hmong”, probably the best-known minority group in Laos. Just before arriving at Kuangsi waterfall, there is another village of Khmu minority group, namely Ban Tha Pane that we will visit. Our picnic lunch is served at the shady park nearby Kuangsi waterfall. There is plenty of time for relaxing and a swim in cool water, before heading back to Luang Prabang in the late afternoon.
Afternoon, enjoy a sightseeing tour of the sacred city of temples; of which nearly fifty still remain in the town and surrounding areas. Visit National Museum, the former Royal Palace which houses the collection of valuables including the famous Prabang Buddha statue, gifts received from foreign dignitaries…etc, Wat Visoun, the 16th century temple served as a small museum for religious artifacts; Wat Aham, the early 19th century temple, whose two guardian figures at the foot of the steps which represent two characters from the Ramayana – Hanuman, the Monkey God and a fierce Yaksa; Wat Xiengthong, the 16th century temple, which more than any temples in Luang Prabang, epitomizes all the elegance and grace of Luang Prabang architecture.
The rest of the day at your leisure, relaxing in one of the city’s many quirky cafés or strolling along the beautiful riverbank.
Meals : Breakfast & Lunch
Accomodation : Hotel in Luang Prabang
- Local boat
Today, we continue our city tour, seeing the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong, which nestles at the meeting of the Mekong and the Nam Khan River. The temple structures are decorated in various ways with gilded stuccoes and doorways. The main Sim has a marvelous 'tree of life' mosaic pattern on an outer wall. We then board a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a taste of the tranquil countryside and an interesting visit to the mysterious of Pak Ou Caves, crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes. Along the way, we stop at Ban Xang Hai to visit the rice wine distillation.
Upon disembarking, we drive to the famous weaving village of Ban Phanom where shoppers have a chance to try their hand at bargaining.
Accomodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang
- Local touch
You will be transferred to the airport early this morning for your flight to Pakse. On arrival in Pakse,we transfer to Champasak to 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. We continue our journey by road to the 4000 Islands area, where you have the rest of the day to relax.
Accomodation: Hotel in Khong Islands
After an early morning breakfast, we explore Khone Island. Here we begin by re-tracing the French colonial-past at Ban Khone, where some old colonial houses still stand and glimpse the first Lao railway with its own locomotive.
Board a local long-tail riverboat to reach the fishing village of Ban Phiengdy and continue by car to the magnificent Khone Phapheng Waterfall, which spans 14km in width of the mighty Mekong River. This waterall is listed as the world's widest waterfall. More akin to tumbling rapids than a waterfall from a Western perspective, it is still quite impressive, especially during the rainy season when the water is running fast and furious.
We continue our exploration of the area of the 4000 islands by boat and visit the beautiful Liphi waterfall, also known as the Samphamith, which forms a natural border between Lao and Cambodia. Return to Ban Nakasang and drive to the famous waterfall of Khone Phapeng - the largest waterfall in South East Asia, also known as the 'Niagara of the east'.
Accomodation : Hotel in Donekhong Islands
Drive to the Suay minority village of Ban Khiat Ngong. The Suay men are traditionally engaged in elephant training, especially for the timber trade. Ban Khiat Ngong village has a community project offering basic but comfortable accommodation in the 240,000 square kilometer Xe Pien National Biodiversity Conservation Area, which consists of a combination of wetlands and highland primary rainforest. This day, explore the highlands and take an elephant ride trough the primitive jungle to visit the enigmatic ruins of Phou Asa Temple.
Picnic lunch. Return to Ban Khiet Ngong village, located in the wetland area. At sunset, short walk to reach the Ban Khiet Ngong pond and see myriads of birds flying back to their nests. Dinner and accommodation at the guest house.
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Accomodation: Hotel in Bang Khiet Ngong village
Have breakfast at the hotel and then enjoy a free morning before driving to the Pakse Airport to catch your departure flight.
*** END OF SERVICES ***
THE DIFFERENCE OF AMO TRAVEL
- Map of Vietnam with 04 famous destination detail maps in Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, Saigon
- 01 bottle of water/day/person.
- Post Card for sharing your memorable trip
- Bookmark with basic Vietnamese lesson
- Vietnamese Sim-Card for 24/24 support
- 01 Night in the junk in Ha Long with 03 sea food meals on board
- All of meals as mentioned in the program (B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner)
- Air-conditioned private car
- Professional and Experience local English speaking guide.
- Private boat trip in along Perfume River in Hue
- Private boat trip in Mekong Delta
- All of entrance fees and visiting permission in the restricted area (if applicable) as programm
- International and domestic air-tickets.
- Bank Fee related to the payment.
- Meals not mentioned in the program
- Visa to Vietnam, Visa stamping fee
- Beverage, personal expenses
- Tipping for Tour-guide and driver. Our suggestion: 1-3$US/day/driver, 3-5$US/day/person for tour-guide depending your group size.
- Time check in: from 13h00 to 14h00, time check out: 12h00 (except the Junk in Ha Long about 10AM)
- Program is subject to change without prior notice due to Vietnam Airlines unexpected changes of schedule or flight cancellation.
- Hotels are subject to change by the time of booking.
- B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner