ITINERARY BY DAY
DAY 1: VIENTIANE ARRIVAL
Arrival in Vientiane. We welcome you at airport and transfer you to hotel. Rest of the day is your leisure time.
Overnight in Vientiane.
DAY 2: VIENTIANE CITY TOUR (B/L/-)
Exploring Vientiane capital city, we start to visit the major sights of the capital including the oldest Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. On the way to the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, we stop to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph.
Afternoon, we spend to continue to visit the rest of Vientiane by walking if it is not too hot. We visit Wat Ong Tue, Wat Inpeng and Wat Haisok. Then we pass by the major shopping area continuing to the Vientiane Central Market of Talad Sao Laos Tour Vientiane city tour…learn about the history of Laos and Talad Kouadin where the major goods display; including fresh food, household, textiles, gold, silver and ancient souvenir varied display and return to Mekong Riverside and late evening. By late afternoon observing sunset by Mekong.
Stay overnight in Vientiane.
DAY 3: VIENTIANE – VANG VIENG (B/-/D)
Morning, we visit the impressive Lao – Thai Friendship Bridge and the Buddha Park, a display of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures created by mystical monk on parkland located by the Mekong River. After that, transfer straight to Vang Vieng. Upon arrival, check-in at hotel.
At sunset, enjoy a romantic BBQ dinner on riverside.
Stay overnight at a riverside hotel in Vang Vieng.
DAY 4: VANG VIENG (B/L/-)
(Approximately: 25 minutes transfer/ 1½ hour trekking/ 2 hours kayaking/ 2 hours caving)
Pick up from your hotel and after 14 km transfer to the north of Vang Vieng, we visit the first cave, Tham Xang (Elephant Cave) lies on the opposite banks of the Nam Song. It is an important Buddhist temple and owes its name to a remarkable limestone formation.
The nearby Tham Hoi cave (Snail cave) winds its way deep into the mountain. One hour of exploration through numerous corridors ends at a crystal clear spring. Here, swimming in the stream – in a cave lit up by candles – is possible all the year round.
The most beautiful cave on this trip is Tham Loup (Deep cave), our next stop for cave exploration. This cave is known for its many stalagmites and stalactites. Another cool pool of spring water lies at the mouth of Tham Nam (Water cave), also a good place for a swim. Tubing inside the cave is possible.
After a picnic lunch, the trek to the Hmong village of Phathao passes through rice paddy fields and vegetable gardens.
The trip back to Vang Vieng varies according to the level of the Nam Song. Descending the Nam Song by kayak leads us through idyllic scenes of rural life: a unique sight with the Limestone Mountains in the background.
Stay overnight at hotel in Vang Vieng.
DAY 5: VANG VIENG – XIENG KHOUANG (B/L/-)
After breakfast transfer from Vang Vieng to Phonsavan (6 hours). Lunch is served in a local restaurant on the way. Upon arrival in Phonsavan, check-in at hotel.
After a refreshment, we visit the Plain of jars site No. 1 just 6 km away from Phonsavan town to enjoy the sunset above the hundreds of jars. The mysterious archaeological site is also discovered by UNESCO and there are plans to establish it as a World Heritage site. Back to the town.
Stay overnight at hotel in Phonsavan.
DAY 6: XIENG KHOUANG – LUANG PRABANG (B/L/-)
Breakfast at hotel. Our driver picks you up at hotel and transfer to Luang Prabang. The transfer may take up to 6 hours.
Upon arrival in Luang Prabang, check-in at hotel. Enjoy your leisure time in the city.
Stay overnight at hotel in Luang Prabang.
DAY 7: LUANG PRABANG CITY TOUR (B/L/-)
We pick you up at the hotel to start our city tour visiting the Museum in the former Royal Palace where you get a sense of local history. The palace was built in 1904 during the French colonial era.
We continue our tour to the most important monasteries of Luang Prabang, starting with Vat Xieng Thong, the most magnificent temple, built by King Setthathirat in 1560s.
Next stop is Vat Saen and last but not least we enter Vat Vixoun, the oldest operating tour in Luang Prabang, built 1513.
After lunch, transport is provided to the nearby traditional Tai Lue weaving village Ban Phanom. This village is famed for its intricately woven textiles and special weaving techniques – in former times, it was the weaver colony of the Luang Prabang Royalty.
The very scenic Tad Sae Waterfall can be reached on the Nam Khan from Ban Phanom by long-tail boat – best during and after the rainy season. Its numerous cascades and pools are an ideal place for bathing.
On the way to the Tad Sae Waterfall lies the tomb of the 19th century French explorer Henri Mouhot, the first European to rediscover Angkor Wat and to visit the Royal Kingdom of Luang Prabang.
For the sunset we are climbing the stairs up to the Phou Si mountain from where you have a fantastic view over Luang Prabang and the surroundings.
DAY 8: PAK OU CAVES – BAN XANG HAI VILLAGE (B/L/-)
Approximately: 3.5 hours boat ride & 2 hours walking
We depart from our office and take a short walk to the boat pier. We board the boat and begin our cruise along the amazing Mekong which takes us past idyllic scenes of rural riverside life and spectacular scenery until reaching the beautiful Pak Ou Caves which sit amongst the limestone cliffs where the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers meet. The caves are spilt in two, one named Tham Ting and the other Tham Theung. They are both filled with thousands of Buddha images and statues which have been deposited here over centuries.
A short distance away from Pak Ou Caves we visit the village of Ban Xang Hai which has for centuries made the clay jars which are used to ferment Lao wine. Nowadays the tradition continues however the village now also specialises in producing a wide range of ‘Lau Lao’ Lao whisky and ‘Lau Hai’ Lao wine. Be sure to try just a little before we head of back down river to Luang Prabang in the late afternoon.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
DAY 9: FARMING EXPERIENCE – KUOANG SI WATERFALL
Rice is Life: The seed to harvest experience A Living Lands Organic Farm program
This unique half-day activity takes you on an in-depth and hands-on learning experience during which you may participate in the 14 steps of the rice cycle on the Living Lands community farm.
The Living Lands Farm is a community enterprise just outside of Luang Prabang that runs educational programs and practices professional organic farming right next to village rice paddies. Only small groups are able to join the interactive rice farming experience, which actively benefits the local community by providing incentives to maintain their traditional crafts and practices. You will see and learn about bamboo weaving, tool and trap making, gardening and even blacksmithing.
After lunch we’ll head out to the Kuang Si Waterfall. We will pass beautiful landscapes of rice fields, hills, and small villages on this 35-minute drive. At the Kuang Si Waterfall, relax and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings and or take a walk through this protected area. You’ll have time to take a swim in the cool, clear pools of the falls. We will also visit the Bear Rescue Center at the falls and learn about efforts to protect native bears. Spend the night in Luang Prabang.
Stay overnight at hotel in Luang Prabang.
DAY 10: LUANG PRABANG – DEPARTURE (B/L/-)
Morning, enjoy breakfast at hotel and relax until we transfer you to airport for your departure flight.