Laos

15-Day Laos Adventure

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Tour type

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Tour Period: 15 Days

tour highlights

  • Soft and steep treks to hill villages around Ban Nalan
  • Observe the unique architecture, culture, language and traditions of the hilltribes
  • Visit the sacred temples at Pak Ou Caves
  • 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 temple of Wat Phu
  • Sightsee around the natural wonder of the 4000 islands of Siphandone

 

tour details

Laos Adventure takes you on a cultural and natural adventure across Laos that will live long in the memory. There is immersion in the unique culture and traditions of hill tribes of the North, the architectural splendor of the temples in Luang Prabang and Vientiane, a trip back in time to a Pre-Angkorian temple and the natural wonders of the ever changing scenery and spectacular waterfalls in the South.

Why choose this tour?

If you are looking for nature and culture based adventure, then this tour will be well-suited to you. Immersive experiences with hill tribes, lush jungle, the Mekong River, southern waterfalls and splendid architecture and temples are all included.

You will be met upon arrival at Houay Xai immigration checkpoint and then transfer to the hotel for check in.

Lunch will be at a local restaurant. Travel to the surroundings of Houay Xai for sightseeing and also visit Wat Chomkao Manilat which over-looks the township of Houay Xai. Also make a visit to some Sapphire shops and a local market. Return to Houay Xai.

Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel.

Before departure, visit the colourful local market, where minorities from the surrounding villages come daily to trade their goods. Drive to Luang Namtha and en-route; visit a Thai Daeng village where animist practices are still preserved. Lunch at local restaurant en-route. Arrival in Luang Namtha in the late afternoon, transfer to the lodge and check in.

Dinner and accommodation at the restaurant.
Breakfast at the lodge.

At 9:00 hours, depart Luang Namtha by pick-up truck and travel for around 1 hour to arrive at Ban Chaleunsouk. Then begin the trek by walking up the mountain paths through many varieties of Bamboo forest, and other woods in the Nam Ha National Bio-diversity Conservation Area, and some old up-land rice fields of Khmu people. Picnic lunch en-route (Lao food). Arrive at Ban Nalan at around 15:30 hours and participate in some activities with the local Khmu people. This is an opportunity to observe and understand more about the daily life and traditions of these fascinating people.

Dinner and overnight in a villager's house.
Breakfast is at your accommodation.

After breakfast start walking along the bank of the Nam Ha River. The trail passes through a mixed forest of new growing and old growth trees. It is a reasonably flat trail for three hours, after which you arrive at Ban Nam Koy (Lanten tribe). Lunch in an eco-lodge, Lanten style.

Take a walk around to see some hand-made handicrafts by the Lanten people, such as bamboo paper and other. 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. After your time in the village, walking through a wet and steep trail by a small stream. Most of the trail is on small rocks, so it takes about twp hours to climb the steep mountain path, before the trail smooths out for another hour of climbing up a steep trail. Continue walking through forest up and down-hill for another two hours. You will arrive at Ban Nam Lue, then drive back to Luang Namtha and check-in at the lodge.

Dinner and accommodation at the lodge.
Breakfast at the lodge.

Today, we drive from Luang Namtha to Oudomxay Province with lunch at a local restaurant. On the way, visit a Khmu village. The Khmu, who belong to the Mon-Khmer ethnic group, are the original inhabitants of the Indochina peninsula. Take some time to learn about the language, traditions and culture of these people.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel we drive to Luang Prabang and on the way, visit the Hmong minority village of Ban Songja, located on top of mountain. 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 at a local restaurant in Pak Mong. Continue on after lunch, stopping at the silk-weaving village of Ban Nayang, populated by Thai Lu and learn more about this fascinating culture. Drive on to Pak Ou Village and board a traditional boat for a trip down the Mekong River to visit the famous caves of Pak Ou housing thousands of statues representing Lord Buddha.

Afterwards, 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. You will arrive in Luang Prabang before sunset and be met upon arrival at the pier and transfer to your hotel and check in.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, visit Wat Visoun, the oldest temple in Luang Prabang and the site of the impressive Singhalese style That Makmo stupa. Nearby is 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 visit 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 at Cafe Ban Vat Sene Restaurant.

After lunch, we 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.

We then travel to visit Ban Phanom 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.

Dinner at 3 Nagas Restaurant.
Accommodation at your hotel.
Breakfast is at the hotel.

This morning 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 Centre (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.

Transfer to Luang Prabang airport for the Lao Airlines flight from Luang Prabang to Vientiane. (Domestic Flight Luang Prbang - Vientiane not included). A lunch box will be provided. You will be met upon arrival at Vientiane Wattay airport, for transfer and check-in at the hotel.

In the afternoon visit Wat Sisaket, architecturally beautiful and the oldest original temple in Vientiane. 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.

Dinner at Kualao Restaurant.
Accommodation at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel there is an early morning departure from Vientiane to drive to Savannakhet. Depart by route No.13 south and make a short stop at Wat Prabath Phonsan (the foot print Buddha temple). Continue the drive while admiring the beautiful landscape and arrive in Thakhek. Lunch is at a local restaurant. Visit the ancient city wall made of stone as well as the Sikhottabong Stupa. In the afternoon, continue to Savannakhet, and visit Ban Nateuy and In Hang stupa. Transfer to your hotel and check in.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast is at the hotel.

This morning, drive from Savannakhet to Tadlo (Saravan province), located on the Boloven Plateau, via the city of Pakse. Lunch at a local restaurant. On the way, visit Tad Phasouam, Nge & Alak villages. Exploring these villages will give you insights into the culture, language and tradition of these fascinating people.

Dinner and accommodation at the resort.
After breakfast at the Resort drive back to Pakse, via (Coffee Street) and drive towards the former royal capital of Champasak continuing on to the pre-Angkorian Wat Phu Temple (6th-13th centuries). Wat Phu Temple lies on a hillside and offers spectacular views of the surrounding plains and the Mekong River. UNESCO listed Wat Phu Temple as a World Heritage site in 2002. 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. Afterwards, lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon continue to Champasak.

Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodation at the hotel.
Following breakfast at the hotel, take a small boat cross to Ban Muang Pier. Then drive to Khong Island, with its lovely fishing villages, its serene monasteries and its lush vegetation offers a unique opportunity to experience the peaceful Lao way of life. Lunch at a local restaurant.

Take a bike-ride to explore Khong Island. Visit Wat Hangkhong, considered as the oldest temple on the island, Ban Huay village and continue to Muang Sene to enjoy the sunset over the Mekong River.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast is at the hotel.

Cruise along the backwaters to explore Siphandone (4000 Island). During the rainy season, the Mekong River reaches a breadth of 14 km, 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. You will admire surrounding islands of Don Det and Don Som for a glimpse into the traditional lifestyle of the fishermen. Your boat will stop at Don Khone Island to see the old steam-locomotive, the last remaining sign of the railway built by the French in 1897 in order to bypass the powerful rapids when transporting goods from Cambodia.

Take the local transportation to visit the 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 where lunch is taken at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, take a boat trip for a chance to see the freshwater Irrawaddy Dolphins (this part of the trip is only possible from October to May). Then return by boat to Done Khong.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, we drive 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 is taken 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 your hotel.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast is at the hotel, after which you can visit the colourful Pakse local market, then we drive to Chong Mek immigration checkpoint (border crossing to Thailand).

Continue to Ubon Ratchathani Airport for the departure flight to Bangkok (airfare is not included in the tour price).

customise the tour

  • On day 7 add the Sunset Cruise with iMekong, a Baci ceremony, a game of petanque with the locals, or a private yoga session
  • On day 7or 8 add the Alms Giving with iMekong

includes

  • Accommodation in shared double/ twin room with air-condition (AC) and private bathroom
  • Meals as stated in the programme B= breakfast, L= lunches & D = Dinner as program mention.
  • Transfers and tours with your selected local English speaking guide in private air-conditioned vehicles
  • All entrance fees and boat fees as mentioned in the programme
  • Drinking water and cold towels available on the vehicles
  • Local Government Tax
  • Traditional Slow boat

excludes

  • Domestic airfare (quoted separately, if requested)
  • International airfare to / from Lao (quoted separately, if requested)
  • Optional tours
  • Surcharges for other language guides
  • Surcharges for Lao Pimai (New Year)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • Drinks with meals
  • Compulsory gala dinners during festive seasons and peak season surcharges which will be advised at the time of booking or when available
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the programme
  • Immigration border tax is not inlcuded
Tour code: LPQDLLA15D

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