Day 1: Arrival – Luang Prabang
Day 2: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Cave
Day 3: Luang Prabang – Khouangsi Waterfall
Day 4: Luang Prabang – Departure
Dai 1: Arrival – Luang Prabang (B)
Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Luang Prabang has been claimed by UNESCO to be ‘the best preserved city in South East Asia’. During our time here, we visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrines of Wat Aham and Wat Mai, we then climb up to the top of mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic view of the city at sunset and the Mekong River. From there, we explore the Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by local and hilltribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 2: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Cave (B)
Today we enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple of Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. We then embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside as well time to explore the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. Along the way, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where they make the local rice wine. On return, we take a short drive to Ban Phanom, a small village known for its hand weaving. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 3: Luang Prabang – Khouangsi Waterfall (B)
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (often in the form of sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the ritual. From there you will visit the morning Phousi Market, where you will see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings.
Laos is also known for its traditional crafts, and today you will visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, a Hmong village, Ban Ou, Laoloum Village and Ban Thapene, all Khmu villages. This then takes us to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the pools or walk along the forest trails. After returning to Luang Prabang by late afternoon, we continue to Ban Xangkhong, a village well known for its silk weavings and for its Saa (jute) Papermaking. We return to the city by late evening to admire the sunset at Wat Siphouthabath. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 4: Luang Prabang – City Tour (B)
Today we visit the National Museum (closed Tuesdays) at the former Royal Palace. It displays a collection of artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through to the last sovereign. There will also be time for us to look around the Central Market. After visiting these sights in the morning, there may be free time (depending on your flight) to venture into town and stroll around the shopping area. The tour ends after your transfer to the airport for departure.