LUANG PRABANG / PHONSAVAN / VANG VIENG / VIENTIANE / SI PHAN DON / PAKSE
For many travelers, Laos is a destination with serene, rustic, and filled with mountainous regions along the banks of the Mekong River. Laos has kept its ancient charm largely intact, and also offers an exceptionally varied topography and multi layered culture. Laos has remained the most pristine and culturally-intact country in Indochina peninsula. Our 12 Day ultimate Laos adventure tours allow you to experience the old-fashioned charm of the city, explore untouched landscapes and meet the incredibly friendly people, who have faced adversity and come out smiling.
Fly to Luang Prabang. On arrival you will have free time to start soaking up the local culture. An enchanting city, Luang Prabang is the quintessential image of Laos. At its core, lush greenery, golden temples and vivid-robed monks come together to create a colourful, rich heritage and an enduring French-colonial legacy. Take a walking tour around the vibrant night market, keeping an eye out for craft souvenirs from Laos’ hill tribes as you go.
Rise early this morning to witness the Buddhist ceremony of Takbat, when the monks of Luang Prabang’s monastic communities collect alms from locals. These lines of silent saffron robe-clad monks will be an enduring image of your trip. See Wat Sene and the National Museum. Visit the traditional H’mong village of Ban Na Ounae, before walking to the cascading turquoise waters of Kuang Si Waterfalls for a picnic lunch and a swim. Stop at Ock Pop Tok Weaving Centre on the return to Luang Prabang.
Explore Wat Xieng Thong, considered Luang Prabang’s most beautiful temple. Board a boat to cruise the mighty Mekong up to the sacred caves of Pak Ou, known for the hundreds of miniature Buddha sculptures that reside within. Visit the local villages of Thin Hong and Ban Xang Khong to witness the daily life of the local people and their cottage industries.
Climb Phousi Hill to admire the views down over the city before exploring Wat Mai, Wat Visoun and Wat Aham. Browse the wares at the lively hill tribe market before a free afternoon.
One of the most important prehistoric sites in Southeast Asia, these mysterious clusters of giant jars are thought to be about 2,000 years old. We will visit Site 1 where there are over 200 jars, Site 2 which also allows you to admire the beautiful scenery of the region and Site 3, situated in picturesque woodland. There will also be a visit to the office of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), an organisation that helps clear unexploded ordnance that are a remnant of American raids during the Vietnam War. Take the opportunity to speak with the organisation’s head.
Depart Phonsavan for Vang Vieng. Stop en route at Pathang village, where you can enjoy dramatic views over the karst landscapes for which Vang Vieng is famous. On arrival, head into Tham Chang Cave to explore. The cave was used as a hideout for locals when marauding Yunnanese came to town in the early 19th century.
Drive to Vientiane, Laos’ capital. Nestled in a languid bend in the Mekong, Vientiane is a delightfully quaint city, more friendly backwater than chaotic capital. Spend the rest of the day exploring with visits to Wat Si Saket, Wat Phra Keo, That Luang Stupa, and the Patuxai Victory Monument, that resembles Paris’ Arc de Triomphe.
Rise early for a morning flight to Pakse. On arrival, explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wat Phou, a ruined Khmer temple complex set in the beautiful landscapes of Mount Phu Kao. Drive on to Khong Island, the largest island of the laidback Si Phan Don archipelago in the Mekong River. The rest of the day is free.
Around Si Phan Don, meaning ‘4,000 islands’, the pace of life is slow and easy and the river views are gorgeous. See the magni cent Khone Phapheng Waterfall, Southeast Asia’s largest, and pop over to Khone Island by speedboat to discover its charming colonial buildings and see Liphi Waterfall, nicknamed the Devil’s Corridor. Depending on the season, you may see traditional shing techniques in action. The rest of the day is free.
Depart Khong Island for Pakse, stopping en route to admire Tad Yuang and Tad Fane waterfalls. Continue up onto the Bolaven Plateau to pay a visit to a coffee plantation and learn about the process of planting, harvesting and roasting the beans. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner back in Pakse.
This is your last day in Laos, transfer to the airport by our private car, end of the trip, thank you for traveling with us.