5-Day Country Capital to Cultural Capital

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Tour type

Tour Level: High level

Tour Comfort: Luxury

Tour Period: 5 Days

tour highlights

  • Climb Vat Phousi Hill for outstanding views over the city
  • Visit rescued bears at the 'Bear Lao' project
  • Meet locals at the Khmu minority village of Ban Thapaene
  • Learn more about weaving at Ock Pop Tock
  • Explore the local fresh produce market

tour details

An enchanting journey through natural, cultural and historical sites.

Meet upon arrival at Vientiane Wattay Airport, 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.
After lunch at a local restaurant, visit Vat Sisaket, the oldest original temple in Vientiane. Built in 1818, Vat Sisaket is the sole survivor of an invasion in 1828 and features remarkable frescoes and 6,840 Buddha images. 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 the country. 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.
Moving on, visit one of the most photographed images of Vientiane, Patouxay, the victory gate also known as Anousavari. Constructed in 1958, its architecture is inspired by the Arc of Triomphe in Paris. Another famous Vientiane landmark is the That Luang Stupa, built by King Setthathirath in 1566 and now considered a national symbol. 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 and accommodation at the hotel in Vientiane.
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for a Lao Airlines flight to Luang Prabang. Meet upon arrival at Luang Prabang Airport, transfer and check in at the hotel. The crown jewel of Laos, Luang Prabang is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. Magical and charming, it has kept its long-standing reputation as a stronghold of Lao culture with splendid natural scenery and sense of timelessness. In 1995 UNESCO voted Luang Prabang as a World Heritage City.
Visit Vat Xieng Thong, the most important Buddhist monastery in the country. The main sanctuary 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 and, near the east gate, stands the Royal funeral chapel. Inside are an impressive 12-metre-high funeral chariot and various funeral urns of each Royal Family member. The gilt panel on the exterior of the chapel depicts a semi-erotic episode from Ramayana.
Lunch at Le Tangor Restaurant. In the afternoon, 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) Pu Gneu Ya Gneu (ancestors). Next, climb Vat Phousi Hill for an outstanding view over the city before continuing on to visit Vat Mai, built in 1796 and famous for the five-tiered roof of its wooden sim. Afterward, catch the sunset at Vat Prabaht Tai located along the Mekong River.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, board a traditional riverboat for a trip up the Mekong River to visit the famous caves of Pak Ou housing thousands of statues representing Lord Buddha.
Continue to Ban Muang Keo village, to witness the production of coloured fabric woven on simple weaving looms, and have lunch at a local restaurant overlooking the Mekong River.
Afterward, walk around Ban Pak Ou Village, a small Laotian fishermen’s village on the Mekong River. Return to Luang Prabang by boat and continue by car to visit Ban Phanom, a weaving village populated by Thai Lu who originally came from Sipsongpanna in Southern China.
Stop at Ock Pop Tock in Luang Prabang to learn more about Lao weaving and silk culture.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit the local fresh morning market, where villagers from the remote areas offer their products, then depart by road to the Kuang Si Waterfalls (about a 1-hour drive). On the way to the waterfalls, visit the Khmu minority village of Ban Thapaene and the rescued bears of the “Bear Lao” project during your walk along the pools up to the waterfall. The waterfalls tumble over multi-tiered limestone formations into cool, clear pools ideal for swimming and relaxing. Enjoy a picnic lunch nearby the falls then visit the butterfly park.
Head back toward Luang Prabang stopping at Ban Xom, a lowland Lao village known for its cotton production, and Ban Xang Khong village to see how traditional Sa paper is made.

Dinner at The House Restaurant and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit the National Museum (a former King’s Palace) displaying a collection of personal artefacts of the Royal Family: photos, musical equipment and gifts received from foreign countries. Afterward, stroll through the old quarter to further discover the daily life of Luang Prabang.
If time permits, visit the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (closed on Mondays), which houses exhibits on seven ethnic minority groups of northern Laos. The centre also has also a shop selling traditional hilltribe handicrafts and a nice cafe with books to browse through.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before transferring to the airport for departure.

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: VLF5

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