Day 1: Arrival – Vientiane
Day 2: Vientiane – Vang Vieng
Day 3: Vang Vieng – Luang Prabang
Day 4: Luang Prabang – City Tour
Day 5: Luang Prabang – Pakou caves
Day 6: Luang Prabang – Departure
Day 1: Arrival – Vientiane (D)
Up on arrival in Vientiane airport, we are welcome by local tour guide and driver, after that, we transfer to hotel.
In the afternoon, we visit the major sights of the capital including the Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statues, and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image.
Enroute to Lao’s national icon, the precious and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, we will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. The Mekong Riverside is the perfect place to end the day and admire the sunset. Tonight, we enjoy our welcome dinner at a fine local restaurant in town. Overnight in Vientiane.
Day 2: Vientiane – Vang Vieng (3 – 4 hour driving) (B)
After breakfast, we leave the capital for our journey northbound, we will see some breathtaking scenery enroute as we pass through spectacular countryside towards the mountainous region. Along the way, we visit the busy and colorful market of Thalat where various hill tribes come to trade goods and buy provisions.
A next stop of our trip is Vang Xang, famous for the archeological site dating back 11th century. We reach our final destination Vang Vieng, which is nestled on a bend of the Nam Song River. Its stunning scenery with limestone outcrops remains unspoiled, despite recent developments with the advent of tourism. In the afternoon, we head 2km out of Vang Vieng town to explore the famous caves of Tham Jang, which was once used by the local people as a hideout from Chinese invaders. We also cross the river to Ban Huai Ngai, a very pleasant village where we can explore the different lifestyles of the locals. Overnight in Vang Vieng.
Day 3: Vang Vieng – Luang Prabang (5 – 6 hour driving) (B, D)
Breakfast at hotel, we are free at leisure to explore in the nice, quiet town then start our journey to Luang Prabang.
Upon leaving Vang Vieng, the roads begin to deteriorate; however the stunning mountain scenery makes for an interesting journey.
Arriving in Luang Prabang at around 04:00PM, we check in hotel and relax. Tonight, we enjoy our Dinner at a fine local restaurant in town. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 4: Luang Prabang – City Tour (B)
After breakfast at hotel, we will visit Luang Prabang with the former Royal Palace, which has been turned into a National Museum (closed Tuesdays). This interesting structure displays a collection of artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign.
Then we visit the impressive stupas of Wat Visoun, the shrine of Wat Aham, the city’s oldest temple of Wat Sene and Wat Mai with its five tiered roofs. Before finish out day tour we have our chance to ascend the 329 steps to the top of Phousi Hill for a beautiful sunset view of the city and its glowing reflection on the Mekong River. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 5: Luang Prabang – Pakou Caves (B)
Today we visit 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 back wall has an intriguing large flame ‘tree of life’ pattern set in coloured glass mosiacs.
We then embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a taste of the tranquil countryside and an interesting visit to 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 Ban Xang Hai, where the local rice wine is produced. On our return, we drive to the famous weaving village of Ban Phanom where shoppers have a chance to try their hand at bargaining. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 6: Luang Prabang – Departure (B)
An optional early start gives us 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. Today our vehicle will transfer us back to the airport for our departure flight. Trip ends.