15-Day Laos Culture, Trekking and Tribes

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Tour type

Tour Level: High level

Tour Comfort: Luxury

Tour Period: 15 Days

tour highlights

  • Visit a sapphire shop and local markets
  • Take part in traditional activities with local Khmu people
  • Trek through the wilderness of Laos
  • Admire one of the most beautiful temples in Laos
  • Cruise along the mighty Mekong River

tour details

Get an in-depth look at tropical Laos, from the busy capital to traditional river island villages.

Meet upon arrival at the Houei Xay immigration checkpoint and transfer to the hotel to check in. Lunch at a local restaurant. Travel to the surroundings of Houei Xay for sightseeing and visit Vat Chomkao Manilat, which overlooks the township of Houei Xay. Stop in at some sapphire shops and a local market before returning to town.

Dinner and 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. Arrive in Luang Namtha in the late afternoon and transfer to the lodge for check-in.

Dinner and accommodation at the lodge.
Breakfast at the lodge. Around 9:00 am, depart Luang Namtha by pick-up truck and drive for about an hour to Ban Chaleunsouk. 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 then through longstanding rice fields of the Khmu people.
Enjoy an en route picnic lunch of Lao food. Arrive at Ban Nalan at around 3:30 pm and participate in activities with the local Khmu people.

Local dinner and overnight at a villager’s house.
After breakfast, start walking along the banks of the Nam Ha River. The reasonably flat trail passes through both young and old growth trees for 3 hours before arriving at Ban Nam Koy (Lanten tribe). Lunch in eco-lodge with Lanten style cuisine. Take a walk around to see some handmade handicrafts by the Lanten people, such as bamboo paper and more.
Afterward, get ready for an adventure and a long trek walking along a wet and steep trail by a small stream. Most of the trail is on small rocks, so it takes about 2 hours to climb the mountain path before the path flattens out for another hour of climbing. Continue walking through forest up and down hill for another 2 hours reconnecting with nature before arriving 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, drive from Luang Namtha to Oudomxay Province. Lunch at a local restaurant. On the way, visit a village that’s home to the Khmu people. The Khmu belong to the Mon-Khmer ethnic group, the original inhabitants of the Indochina peninsula.
Dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodation at the hotel.
After breakfast, drive to Luang Prabang, visiting the Hmong minority village of Ban Songja, located on top of mountain, along the way. Lunch at local restaurant in Pak Mong. Continue on the route, stopping at the silk-weaving village of Ban Nayang, populated by Thai Lu, then visit the sacred caves of Pak Ou, housing thousands of statues of Buddha.
Continue toward Luang Prabang and arrive before sunset. Meet upon arrival at the pier and transfer to hotel for check-in.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit Vat Visoun, the site of an impressive stupa, That Makmo, then walk to the nearby Vat Aham, which is one of the city’s major tutelary shrines dedicated to Deveta Luang (spirit) and Pu Gneu Ya Gneu (ancestors).
Climb Phousi Hill for an outstanding view over the city before continuing to visit Vat Mai. Built in 1796, the temple is famous for the five-tiered roof of its wooden sim. Lunch at Le Tangor Restaurant.
In the afternoon, visit Vat Xieng Thong, which is considered the city’s most beautiful temple. The main sanctuary represents the classic Luang Prabang temple architecture with roofs that sweep low to the ground.
Afterward, visit Ban Phanom weaving village, populated by Thai Lu who originally came from Sipsongpanna in Southern China.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit the National Museum (a former king’s palace) with its ornate gilded and brocaded reception rooms, Buddha artefacts, including the Pra Bang (a large holy image) which was given in the 14th century to King Fa Ngum by the Khmers, and more.
Afterward, visit the Hmong market and local morning market, where ethnic minorities from the surrounding region gather daily. Lunch at Pak Houy Mixay Restaurant. Transfer to the airport for a Lao Airlines flight from Luang Prabang to Vientiane. Meet upon arrival at Vientiane Wattay Airport, transfer and check in at the hotel.
Dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Early in the morning, depart Vientiane and drive to Savannakhet making a short stop at Vat Prabath Phonsan (the foot print Buddha temple) along the way. Continue the drive while admiring the beautiful landscape and arrive in Thakhek. Visit the ancient city wall made of stone as well as the Sikhottabong Stupa.
In the afternoon, continue to Savannakhet, visiting Ban Nateuy and In Hang stupas. Transfer to the hotel and check in.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning, drive from Savannakhet to Tadlo (Saravan province) located on the Bolaven Plateau via the city of Pakse. Lunch at a local restaurant. On the way, visit Tad Phasouam, Nge and Alak villages.

Dinner and accommodation at the resort.
Breakfast at the resort. Drive back to Pakse via “Coffee Street” and get dropped off at the boat pier. Board a longtail riverboat for a cruise on the Mekong River toward the former royal capital of Champasak, then continue by car to the pre-Angkorian Vat Phu Temple, which was active during the 6th to 13th centuries. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002, Vat Phu Temple lies on a hillside and offers spectacular views of the surrounding plains and 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. It was later converted into a Buddhist temple but much of the original Hindu sculptures remain. 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.
Lunch and dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Ban Hat and take a ferryboat or bridge to cross the Mekong River toward Khong Island, located in the scenic Siphandone region (Four Thousand Islands). With its lovely fishing villages, its serene monasteries and its lush vegetation, Khong Island offers a unique opportunity to experience the peaceful Lao way of life.
Lunch at a local restaurant. Head out on a bicycle ride to explore Khong Island. Visit Vat Hangkhong, considered 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 at the hotel. Cruise along the backwaters to explore Siphandone. During the rainy season, the Mekong River reaches a breadth of 14 kilometres, the river’s widest reach along its 4,350-kilometres journey from the Tibetan Plateau toward 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 local fishermen’s traditional lifestyle. Next, continue to Don Khone Island and have lunch at local restaurant in Ban Khone. Hike along the island’s ancient railway, built by the French in 1897 in order to bypass the powerful rapids when transporting goods from Cambodia. Continue to Sumphamith Waterfall before returning to Khong Island.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Head by car to visit Khone Phapheng Waterfall. Return to Pakse, with a stop on the way to visit Ban Khiet Ngong, then go up the mountain to visit the ancient Khmer stone temple of Phu Asa from the 18th century. Arrive back in Pakse in late afternoon and check in at the hotel.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit the Pakse local market in the morning then drive to Chong Mek immigration checkpoint (the border crossing to Thailand). Meet with your Thai guide at Chong Mek and transfer to Khongjiam district by passing Pak Moon Dam.
Journey out on a walking tour through the prehistoric rock paintings at Phateam where the paintings are believed to be about 4,000 years old. The paintings depict a variety of animals and humans along Mekong River at that time. Lunch at Aranya restaurant at Khongjiam district or in Ubon Ratchathani.

After lunch, continue to Ubon Ratchathani Airport for the departure flight to Bangkok (airfare is not included in the tour price).

includes

  • Accommodation in shared double/twin room with air conditioning (AC) and private bathroom
  • Meals as stated in the programme B= Breakfast, L= Lunch & D= Dinner
  • Transfers and tours with English-speaking guides in private air conditioned vehicles
  • All entrance fees as mentioned in the programme
  • Mineral water available in the vehicles

excludes

  • Domestic airfare (quoted separately, if requested)
  • International airfare to / from Laos (quoted separately, if requested)
  • Optional tours
  • Surcharges for other language guides
  • Surcharges for Lao Pimai (New Year)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenditures, 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

notes

Upon request, a licensed French, German, Spanish or other language-speaking guide can accompany participants for the whole duration of the trip at an additional cost.

Tour code: LA15

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