Laos, Thailand

14-Day Laos Memory Tour

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Tour Period: 14 Days

tour highlights

  • Discover Chiang Rai, Thailand’s Northenmost city and a temple cave
  • Observe the unique architecture, culture, language and traditions of minority hilltribes
  • Cruise down the Mekong on a traditional riverboat
  • Explore the culture and architectural heritage of Luang Prabang 
  • Delight in the Buddhist temples of Laos’ capital Vientiane
  • Travel back in time to visit the pre-Angkorian temples of Wat Phu and Phu Asa

tour details

Laos Memory tour is an unforgettable experience. You will be immersed in the varied architecture, culuture, language and traditions of the peoples’ of this beautiful country. The stunning natural beauty, whether viewed on land or rivers will amaze and delight. The experience is rounded off by the temple visits that cement the timeless serenity of Laos in your mind.

You will be met upon arrival at Chiang Rai airport in the afternoon and then transfer by road directly to your hotel. Check-in at your hotel, followed by free time at your leisure.

Dinner and accommodation at Imperial Golden Triangle hotel.
Breakfast is at the hotel.
Explore the Northernmost city of Thailand on a half day tour (8:30 hours -12:00 hours, 13:00 hours -16:30 hours). Spread across the city is interesting architecture that combines the influence of the Thai's and Burmese traditions. Wat Phra Kaew is a must see for everyone. This temple was built in the 12 century during the Lanna Empire. It was here that the Emerald Buddha was discovered and later moved to Bangkok. A replica was made and placed in the same spot where it was found. Lunch is at a local restaurant.
After lunch you can go on the longtail boat adventure. The ride takes you to Tham Phra cave where the temple is built inside the cave. The local people consider this place a sacred place. After visiting the cave enjoy a ride on a rickshaw - this is a must for every visitor! The ride takes you through town and to visit a local market where you will see the colourful sights and lifestyle of the people there. At the market you can observe people from all walks of life and it is an opportunity to buy some local gifts. After your time at the market transfer to the border immigration (Lao side).
You will be met at the Lao border (Lao side) and transfer with your guide to check in at the hotel in Houay Xai.

Dinner at local restaurant. Accommodation at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel there is a full day excursion to visit the small town of Houay Xai and the surrounding area. First stop is to visit the Lanten village of Ban Nam Chang. The Lanten tribes are sometimes called "Lao Houay"(stream Lao) because they choose to live near permanent streams. The dark indigo clothing worn by men and women immediately recognizes the Lanten. The women also pluck or shave their eyebrows upon reaching puberty and wear their hair in a traditional style; swept up and held in place with beautiful silver jewellery. Continue to visit a nearby Khmu village. Lunch at local restaurant.
In the afternoon, visit Wat Chomkhao Manilath, the most beautiful temple in Houay Xai and go on to the local market where the villager's from the ethnic minorities gather every day to buy and sell.

Dinner at local restaurant. Accommodation at the hotel.
Following breakfast at your hotel, transfer to the boat pier and embark on a traditional wooden riverboat for a cruise down the Mekong River, "Mother of Waters". The mighty river has maintained its untamed character with rapids and pristine forests along each bank. En route, visit the Hmong minority village of Ban Houeilampen, which is home to 50 families. Hmong women are renowned for their beautiful embroidered costumes and their impressive silver jewellery. As many Hmong still dress in a traditional fashion you will have the opportunity to see this for yourself and learn about this unique culture. Lunch is taken on board the riverboat.
Arrive in Pakbeng in the afternoon. This rustic town-village sits on a steep hillside and offers spectacular views over the Mekong River.
Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel re-join your boat and continue the cruise towards Luang Prabang. The beautiful Mekong will swirl with eddies and the landscape will allow glimpses of life for those who live along its banks. Look out for fishermen and for small dwellings clinging to the shoreline. Lunch is taken on board. En route to Luang Prabang, stop at Pak Ou village and visit the sacred caves, which house over a thousand Buddha statues. From Pak Ou continue the journey down to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Luang Prabang. This former royal capital, with its gleaming temple roofs, fading colonial architecture and stunning mountain backdrop, retains a unique charm rarely found in all of Asia. On arrival in Luang Prabang transfer and check-in at the hotel.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel visit Wat Xieng Thong, considered as the most beautiful temple. The sim of the Wat represents the classic Luang Prabang temple architecture with roofs that sweep low to the ground. In the compound stand several small chapels housing bronze Buddha images, which were displayed in Paris in 1911. Near the East gate stands the Royal Funeral Chapel. Inside are an impressive 12 metre high funeral chariot and various funeral urns of the Royal Family. The gilt panel on the exterior of the chapel depicts a semi-erotic episode from Ramayana. Also look out for the “tree of life” montage on the rear temple wall. Wat Visoun is the oldest temple in Luang Prabang and the site of the impressive Singhalese style That Makmo stupa and after visiting here we can continue on foot to the nearby Wat Aham, one of the city's major tutelary shrines dedicated to revered spirits Deveta Luang & ancestors Pu Gneu Ya Gneu. For a different perspective we climb Wat Phousi Hill for a stunning 360 degree view over the city. After descending we explore Wat Mai, built in 1796 and famous for the five-tiered roof of its wooden sim built in the standard of Luang Prabang style.
Lunch today is at Cafe Ban Vat Sene.
This afternoon, visit Ban Phanom, a weaving village populated by Thai Lu, who originally came from Sipsongpanna in Southern China. The village is full of culture and history. Nearly all the families here have a loom and they weave with cotton and silk. They sell at the Night Market in Luang Prabang and also to visitors to the village. Return to Luang Prabang, relax and view the sunset from Wat Prabaht Tai, located along the Mekong River.
Dinner 3 Nagas Restaurant. Accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast is at the hotel followed by a departure by road to the Kuang Si Waterfalls (30km, approximately a one hour drive). On the way to the waterfalls, visit the Khmu minority village of Ban Thapaene and discover more about the traditions and daily life of this tribe. The waterfalls which tumble over multi-tiered limestone formations into cool, clear pools are ideal for swimming and relaxing. Picnic lunch at Pok Restaurant nearby the waterfalls.
Continue with a visit to a recently opened Butterfly Park (closed on Tuesdays), where you can see a large variety of colourful butterflies and orchids. Visiting this park contributes to the education of local children about biology and will help raise awareness about the vulnerability of Laos' ecosystem and how local people can preserve it.
Return to Luang Prabang and on the way, visit Ban Xang Khong village to see how traditional paper is made.

Dinner at L’Elephant Restaurant. Accommodation at the hotel.
Take breakfast at the hotel and then visit the National Museum (former King's Palace, closed on Tuesdays) displaying a collection of personal artefacts of the Royal Family: photos, musical equipment and gifts received from foreign countries. Then stroll through the old quarter to discover the daily lifestyle of villagers. If time permits, visit the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center (closed on Mondays), a small private museum about minority groups where you can learn about ethnic cultures and traditional arts. The exhibits contain text, photographs and objects from villages throughout the north of Laos.
Lunch not included. Then transfer to the airport for your Lao Airlines flight to Vientiane (Airfare not included).
You will be met upon arrival at Vientiane Wattay airport and then transfer and check in at the hotel.
Vientiane's major attractions are the serene Buddhist monasteries that dominate the centre of town. The city has kept its timeless charm with tree-lined avenues, brightly painted temples and quaint French architecture.
This afternoon, visit Ban Nong Boua where you can see Tai Dam weaving and textile production. This is followed by a visit to Wat Si Muang which is revered as the “Mother temple” of Vientiane. The temple is named after Si Muang, who sacrificed herself in the space where the central pillar was placed. After your afternoon visits return to the hotel.

Dinner Lao Kitchen Restaurant. Accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel.
Wat Sisaket, architecturally beautiful and the oldest original temple in Vientiane is the first stop of the day. Wat Sisaket features remarkable frescoes and an amazing 6,840 Buddha images. These date back to the 16th and 19th centuries. Nearby is Ho Phra Keo, once the royal temple of Lao monarchy. Built in 1565, Ho Phra Keo has been used as a museum since 1970 and contains some of the finest Buddhist sculptures and artefacts in Laos. Special displays include antique brass drums and palm leaf manuscripts. The main structure originally housed the famous Emerald Buddha that now resides in Bangkok's Wat Phra Keo. One of the most photographed images of Vientiane is Patousay, the victory gate also known as Anousavari. Constructed in 1958, its architecture is inspired by the Arc of Triumph in Paris. Another famous Vientiane landmark is the gold covered and architecturally splendid That Luang Stupa. King Setthathirath built this great sacred stupa, considered as the national symbol, in 1566. Its central structure is 45 metres tall and echoes the curving lines of an elongated lotus. The original stupa was said to contain relics of Lord Buddha. Lunch today is at Lao Derm Restaurant.
In the afternoon, visit the Morning Market (Talaat Sao) and continue to visit the Buddha Park and Friendship Bridge. The Buddha Park is a religious sculpture park located by the Mekong River, 24 KM south of Vientiane, which contains over 200 religious statues. The Buddha Park captivates visitors with an unusual blend of Buddhist and Hindu imagery. Short stop to admire the impressive Friendship Bridge, which links Laos and Thailand.

Dinner Kualao Restaurant. Accommodation at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, there is an early morning transfer to the airport for your Lao Airlines flight to Pakse.
You will be met upon arrival at Pakse airport, then transfer and check in at the hotel. After checking in there will be an excursion to Tadlo (90 km from Pakse), located on the northern edge of the Boloven Plateau. Tadlo is touted as quiet resort near the Xeset waterfall. En-route, make a short visit to the Katou village of Ban Houeihoun. The Katou are known for their contrasting red and black textiles, use of white beading and that they practice hand weaving rather than a loom. The village is situated in a coffee plantation and the villagers are also expert forest foragers. Your visit to these friendly people will be a notable cultural experience. Lunch is taken on arrival at the Tadlo resort.
Return to Pakse in the afternoon via Muang Thateng and Paksong. On the way visit Ban Kok Phoung: Alack and Kaleum villages. Time at leisure to walk through the local market in Thateng. We travel across the Boloven Plateau, an elevated plateau which was formed by an ancient volcano. The environment is fertile and as a result it is famous for its coffee and tea plantations. The plateau has a number of tribal villages, some of them still practicing Stone Age culture. They use extremely primitive agricultural tools and conduct frequent spiritual ceremonies. Short stop for coffee or tea at the village garden. Continue to visit the impressive Tad Fane waterfall which is located in the Dong Houa Sao Protected Area. The falls drop 120 metres into a gorge and split into two falls. If the wind creates a mist then rainbows are formed. Late afternoon we arrive in Pakse.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel.
08:30: Pick up at hotel and drive visit Wat Phou Salao in Pakse district, the temple is located on the slopes of Salao Hill and has a giant statue of a golden Buddha. Drive to Champasak to visit pre-Angkorian Wat Phu Temple. Wat Phu, a World Heritage Site, means ‘mountain temple’. The temples in this complex are dated between the 6th and 13th centuries. Wat Phu lies on a hillside and offers spectacular views on the surrounding plains and the Mekong River. Hindu Khmer probably chose the site because of the spring that flows from near the top of the hill. Historians say that Phu Pasak was in fact sacred to the pre-Angkorian Kingdom of Chenla (6th century) and may have been the site of human sacrifices.
The temple is divided in two parts. The lower part consists of two ruined palace buildings at the edge of a pond, which was used for ritual ablutions. The upper section, the temple sanctuary itself, once enclosed a large Shiva phallus (linga). It was later converted into a Buddhist temple but much of the original Hindu sculpture remains. The lintels feature various forms of Vishnu and Shiva as well as Kala, the Hindu god of time and death. The naga stairway is lined with plumeria (Dokchampa), the Lao national flower. Following your visit lunch is at a local restaurant.
After lunch, drive to visit another Angkorian temple at Oum Moung. Then continue by car to Khong Island and check-in at hotel.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast is at the hotel.
Cruise along the backwaters to explore Siphandone. During the rainy season, the Mekong River reaches a breadth of 14km, the river's widest reach along its 4,350km journey from the Tibetan Plateau towards the South China Sea. When the river recedes, it leaves behind thousands of islands and islets. Visit the surrounding islands of Don Det and Don Som for a glimpse into the traditional lifestyle of the local fishermen. Continue to Don Khone Island and hike along its ancient railway built by the French in 1897 in order to bypass the powerful rapids when transporting goods from Cambodia. Continue to the spectacular Sumphamith Waterfall. Its other name ‘Li Phi’, means ‘Spirit Trap’. The locals believe that bad spirits are trapped at the falls and get washed downstream. Return to Ban Khone for lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch check-in at the hotel with the rest of the day at leisure to explore the island on your own.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel.
Take a boat to Ban Nakasang and then to visit the magnificent Khone Phapheng Waterfall, the largest cascade along the Mekong River. A fault line caused the cascade, which is 6km wide at this point, and the astonishing force of the water has cut dramatic gorges through the brittle bedrock. Return to Pakse by car.
Lunch today is at a local restaurant.
After lunch, drive to visit Ban Khiet Ngong village and stroll to visit Phu Asa temple, which lies amidst the dense jungle. Then drive to Pakse, you arrive in Pakse around late afternoon and check in at hotel.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel with time to then visit Pakse local Market. We will then then drive to Chong Mek immigration checkpoint (border crossing to Thailand).
You will be met upon arrival at Chong Mek border and transfer to Ubon airport (By your own flight).

inclusive

  • Sightseeing tours and transfer services are by private vehicle, as detailed in our itinerary
  • English Speaking Guide
  • Accommodation in shared double/ twin room with air-condition (AC) and private bathroom
  • Meal Breakfast and Lunch as per mention as program
  • All entrance fees, boat fees for the places as mentioned in the program
  • Water available on vehicle
  • Service charges, Government taxes

exclusive

  • Compulsory X’mas and New Year Eve dinners
  • International airfare to / from other destination
  • Domestic airfare
  • Surcharges for other language guides
  • Optional tour
  • High Season Surcharge
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenditure, such as meals, drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • Drinks with meals
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the programme.

notes

Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, road & river conditions, and room availability

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