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Highlights Of Laos

From US$ 1,942 per person
  • No booking or credit card fees
  • E-ticket/Mobile voucher
  • Vientiane
  • Luang Prabang
  • Vang Vieng
Earlier known as “Lane Xang Kingdom” (Country of A Million Elephants), Laos was founded in the 14th century with the help of Khmers and became the biggest kingdom of East-Asia until its fall during the 19th century. Today, Laos is a discreet country, unknown by most but loved by all who have travelled there, having been won over by the beauty of the landscapes and the smile of Lao people. This tour will guide you through the best of Laos in 9 days. You will discover the charm of Luang Prabang, our former royal capital and enjoy the distinctiveness of our new capital since 450 years, Vientiane, and the beautiful landscapes in Vang Vieng.

Day 1: Arrival in Vientiane (L/D)

Arrival in Vientiane in the morning.

Note: Upon your arrival at Wattay International Airport, it is possible to obtain your visa on arrival (VOA). Simply bring 1 passport picture along with between USD 30 and 45 / person in cash, visa fees varying from one nationality to another. Make sure your passport is valid at least 6 months beyond your return departure date. Visa on Arrival forms are available before immigration counters.

Welcome by your Lao Engliish-speaking tour guide in the arrival hall and assist with your transfer to your hotel. Drop of the luggage. Check-in before 2 pm subject to availability on the day.

Lunch at the restaurant of Hotel.

This afternoon, you will begin your trip by a city tour of Vientiane: start with Vat Sisaket, the only temple left intact after the Siamese invasion in 1828. It shelters hundred of statues of Buddha in its walls. Continue with Vat Phra Keo, now used as a religious museum where you can see Lao and Khmer works of art. It used to host the “Emerald Buddha” that is now on display at Bangkok’s Royal Palace. Then That Luang stupa, the holiest place in Laos and object of an amazing pilgrimage in November. It is iconic and represented on all bank notes and official stamps. It is a golden stupa that crowns a small hill. Conclude with Patuxai Monument, also called Anousavari, and enjoy a panoramic view over the city from the roof. It is Vientiane’s own Arc de Triomphe that is located at the top of Lan Xang Avenue, the Champs Elysees of the Lao capital.

Dinner at Makphet Restaurant.

Accommodation in Vientiane.

Day 2: Vientiane – Tuk Tuk Safari – Dinner Cooking Class (B/L/D)

0830 am – 1430am. We’ll take you by Tuk Tuk to an organic rice, fish and vegetable farm on the outskirts of Vientiane. Run by a Lao non-government organisation using traditional Lao farming methods, this is the perfect place to try your hand at rice farming. The friendly farmers will show you how to get your feet wet planting rice seedlings, or if it’s harvest season then cut and thresh your own rice for lunch! Do a spot of fishing, collect fresh duck eggs, learn about organic fertiliser and how it is made, and harvest fresh seasonal organic vegetables and bamboo (if in season).

Once you’ve finished in the field, you’ll cook up a traditional Lao lunch with the days’ produce. Learn how to cook sticky rice and make papaya salad and sit down to enjoy a picnic-style lunch and a well-earned rest.

On the way back into town, we’ll take you to a local fresh food market to check out the amazing diversity of Lao food. Stop for a while in the market for a traditional Lao coffee or sample some delicious Lao sweets. This tour includes participation in farm activities and some walking, so is best suited to people with a moderate level of fitness. You’ll need to bring a long sleeved shirt for rice threshing (depending on the season), sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat. Please wear comfortable clothes such as pants/shorts and a t-shirt that are suitable for getting dirty at the farm.

1600 pm. Explore the authenticity of Lao cuisine in the backstreets of Vientiane! In this course you will head to a local's house and see how they make their favorite food. Most of the Lao food advertised in town, even the highly rated restaurants, are heavily modified to suit the Western palate and inevitably lose a bit of their authenticity and flavour. Here you'll get the most authentic cuisine and also experience the original way Lao people cook, with charcoal stoves and the mega mortar! You'll also be able to learn your choice of 3 Lao dipping sauces, and these are the kind of food you can almost never find in restaurants even though the locals eat it almost every day. In addition, you will learn the quintessential papaya salad and 2 other dishes of your choice, making a total of 6 dishes in one class!

Dinner consists of what you cook!

Accommodation in Vientiane.

Day 3: Vientiane - Vang Vieng (B/L/D)

Breakfast at hotel.

Morning, meet your guide at hotel and drive toward Vang Vieng on Road North No. 13. It takes around 3 hour-drive. The sceneries along the road are stunning with rice paddies, deep forested jungles, winding roads, lakeside views, palm trees and rural villages.

Lunch at local restaurant.

At own discretion and expenses, light boating on the Nam Song River at sunset

Dinner at hotel.

Accommodation in Vang Vieng.

Day 4: Vang Vieng (B/L/D)

Half day morning classic bicycling tour. Caving in the morning and local market, then visit the Organic Farm at Phou Din Daeng, with some nice treats (miniset) at the Organic Farm .

Lunch at organic Farm.

Afternoon, by minivan to visit Blue Lagoon (Tham Phou Kham - cave). 15 minutes drive through the countryside will take you to a cliff with a cave hosting Buddha images. Ascend and refresh in these highly perched grotto. At the foot of the site runs a stream with turquoise waters in which you can swim!

Return to town.

Dinner at hotel.

Accommodation in Vang Vieng.

Day 5: Vang Vieng - Luang Prabang (B/L/D)

Today Leave Vang Vieng around 9 am, continue your second leg of a journey on the same road for a drive toward Luang Prabang, Laos, former Royal Capital and today’s’ spiritual and cultural capital.

The road will start ascending and still passing by ever green mountainous landscapes.

Stop en route to visit some villages along the way and enjoy lunch at Phou Fieng Fa restaurant. The site has an amazing panoramic 360* views over the valley.

Night Market in Luang Prabang

Arrive in Luang Prabang, in the second half of the afternoon. Check in.

Then, short visit to Phou Sy hill. The hill commands great views over the town, the Mekong and the Nam Khan rivers and the mountainous ranges. It takes you 328 steps to reach the top, and at sunset set, the changing colors of the sky are particularly spectacular. The light reflecting on the golden spire of the temple at the top is also beautiful. The stairs are lined up with flamboyant and frangipani trees providing a deserved shade as you walk up and down. Once back to ground level, stop at the awakening Hmong minority people Night Market. It is held daily in the streets around the National Museum. Villagers come here to sell their handicrafts.

Dinner at Mango Tree” restaurant. The terrace, weather permitting, is awesome, with umbrellas and century old trees. It sets in a quiet part of Luang Prabang main’s street, ideal for a cozy and intimate dinner away from the crowds.

Accommodation in Luang Prabang.

Day 6: Luang Prabang by bicycle (B)

Essential sightseeing of Luang Prabang by bicycle:

Start with the National Museum that used to be the former Royal Palace. Inside the complex of the National Museum, you will see the “Prabang” sacred golden statue, giving its name to the town. Then visit Vat Mai, the former royal temple. Vat Sene, one of the most beautiful temples in town, with its red walls and golden bas-reliefs. TAEC, the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre. Depicts Laos ‘rich ethnic diversity with themed rotating exhibits. It is hosted in a former French colonial times judge’s mansion. Vat Visoun, where you will see the famous Watermelon Stupa, shaped like the fruit it takes its name from. This temple was destroyed in 1887 by the invading Black Flags from China, and was restored in 1930 by Buddhist monks and local people and Vat Aham: where you will see the altar of the 2 geniuses of Luang Prabang. The Heritage House being a perfect example of Luang Prabang traditional building made of wood on poles, at the back of Vat Xieng Muane.

Lao set lunch at Khaiphaen restaurant, a vocational training restaurant for disadvantaged street kids.

At own expenses: we recommend a final massage to end the afternoon at L’hibiscus Massage.

5 PM: Garavek Story telling

We are keen supporters of the Garavek program as their aim is to promote and preserve the local traditional stories – myths, legends, and folktales. They are currently presenting a selection of these stories to the foreign visitor in an English language evening show.

From 5-6pm, a selection of traditional Lao stories is presented in their intimate twenty-five seat theatre. The stories are told in English, by a Lao storyteller, with the live musical accompaniment of the khene.
The stories range from Luang Prabang-specific to tales which are popular all over Laos. During the show, you will learn the origins, according to folklore, of such local landmarks as Mount Phou Si, the Mekong and the Nam Khan River, as well as encountering such legendary characters as Xieng Mieng, the archetypal trickster, and Fa Ngum, the first king of Lan Xang (Land of a Million Elephants).

The stories are accompanied by khene – a handmade bamboo mouth organ, and the quintessential Lao folk instrument. Unique to the Lao people of Laos and Northeast Thailand, it has formed an important part of traditional Lao culture and identity for generations. Our show features a live performance of khene by one of our skilful musicians.

Dinner at Tamarind restaurant

Accommodation in Luang Prabang.

Day 7: Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Caves – Kuang Si waterfalls (B/L/D)

05:40 am – Wake up early and head by Tuk-Tuk like a local to the peninsula to witness and/or attend alms giving. At 6am, long lines of monks and novices stroll the street of the town center to collect their daily food subsistence from the worshippers. This ancient ritual is locally known as “tak bat”.

Pass by the open air fresh food market and then, return to the hotel for your breakfast.

Visit to the beautiful Vat Xieng Thong, one of the most emblematic temples in Laos. It is located at the top of the peninsula, where the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers meet. Then, continue to the pier to board your long-boat for a highly scenic 2 ½ hour boat ride up the Mekong River to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. In Pak Ou, thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues are crowded into the two caves carved out of a towering limestone cliff. They range in size from a few centimeters to the size of a human.

Return by boat for lunch at Kitchen by the Mekong.

This afternoon, drive 45 minutes outside of Luang Prabang to Kuang Si waterfalls. Possibility to swim on the spot in the turquoise water ponds. Ladies are recommended to wear a sarong.

Stop by the Asian Black Bear Sanctuary.

On the way back, feel free to stop by a boulodrome (pétanque field), this balling game, legacy of the French that is now one of the preferred hobbies of Laotians (men, but not only). You may even be invited to join them in a game! Lots of fun.

Baci ceremony. A mix of animism or Buddhism these social gatherings are important tin Lao people’s life as they permit to maximize chances of success in anything undertaken. Lao people believe in the spirits that correspond to the 32 parts of the body and while recalling the spirits of the body back, once this is done, symbolically, one ties bracelets of cottons at the wrist of the ach other.

Fusion set dinner at Tangor restaurant

Accommodation in Luang Prabang.

Day 8: Luang Prabang (B/L/D)

We depart by bicycle from starting point in downtown Luang Prabang. We first cycle downhill to the boat docking station to cross the Mekong River by boat to the other side of Luang Prabang called Ban Xieng Man village. We then cycle to Ban Na Kham known for growing sugarcane and cooking sticky rice in bamboo sticks. There is time to have a look around and maybe sample this snack. We continue to Ban Houay Tan (Khmu village). Next, we cycle to Ban Som and make a stop at Ban Na for lunch prepared by our local cook.

After lunch, we walk over to a spot where an old mango tree obviously defies youth. Believe it or not, this superannuated tree is more than 500 years old! After feeling young again, we wheel to visit Ban Chan Neua and Ban Chan Tai, a jars making village. With conviction, we voyage across the Mekong River on a fishing boat back to civilization, docking in downtown Luang Prabang.

Approximately: 5 hours cycling / 2 hours light trekking / 15-20 minutes boat

Note: In the wet season, the road can be very muddy.

7pm – Head to Hive Bar to attend an “Ethnik Fashion Show” with drinks and snacks. This shows displays 95 different costumes from ethnic minority people inhabiting northern Laos. It is the largest private collection of costumes in Asia. They are worn by young Laotian models willing to showcase the rich diversity their country has to offer. Or you may walk next to Lao-Lao Garden for a truly Laotian dinner experience, “sinh dat”, the Lao BBQ.

Accommodation in Luang Prabang.

Day 9: Luang Prabang - Departure (B)

Breakfast at hotel and free at leisure before transfer out.

Timing of pick-up to be arranged according to flight details.
what’s included
  • Accommodation at selected hotels when available and modest homestay, based on twin/double occupancy with daily breakfast. Single occupants must add the supplement single
  • Ground transportation in private A/C vehicles or as stated in the program by Tuk-Tuk for instance;
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • Lao English - speaking licensed guides
  • All entrance fees as mentioned in the program
  • All activities as stated in the program
  • Private boat cruise as mentioned
  • All permissions and local taxes
  • Refreshing tissues and drinking water during overland transportation
Optional Addons (Available during check-out)
  • SGL room surcharge
what’s excluded
  • Visas and stamps in Laos: tourist visas are available at the border for most nationalities (30 US$ to 45 US$ per person depending on nationality o be cleared on the spot in cash; + one passport size
  • Domestic, regional and intercontinental flights and taxes
  • Drinks, tips and personal expenses (such as internet, laundry, minibar, massages, souvenirs, but not limited to)
  • Travel insurances
  • Banking fees
Tour details
Availability Available Daily
Duration 9 days
guiding method Live guide/instructor
guide language English
meeting/Start point Vientiane, Laos
Good to know You have chosen to visit some remote areas of Laos where tourism is still in its infancy. We thank you for your open-mindedness and consideration. We are persuaded you will enjoy your time in these little visited parts of our beautiful country. We take this opportunity to inform you that you might occasionally face some situations when you may not be attended in a very professional manner simply because staffs have not necessarily been properly trained. In developing countries, it is an on-going concern which is being addressed by the relevant local and national authorities but we rest assured that tour guide will do his/her utmost to compensate the eventual weaknesses encountered here and there. We thank you for your understanding and look forward to your feedback.

Full payments for this trip needs to be received upon confirmation of the tour. The tour can be cancelled without charge 1 week prior to departure. The tour can be amended to another day free of charge up to 48 hours prior to departure.
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