5-day Luang Prabang Explorer

Book Now

Tour type

Tour Level: Easy

Tour Comfort: Standard

Tour Period: 5 Days

5 hours   


  • Discover the timeless temples of Luang Prabang
  • Enjoy a boat trip on the Mekong to fascinating Pak Ou Caves
  • Escape into the countryside and discover the stunning Kuang Si waterfall
  • Get close to wildlife on a trek with elephants  

tour details

Explore essential Luang Prabang with visits to the timeless temples, Pak Ou caves and beautiful Kuang Si waterfall. This escape also includes an unforgettable time on a trek with elephants.

Why choose this tour?

This tour is for people who want to experience the essence of Luang Prabang and surrounds to gain an in-depth appreciation of why it was named a UNESCO World Heritage City.

Arrival Luang Prabang

The crown jewel of Laos 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. Magical and charming, it has preserved its long-standing reputation as a stronghold of Lao culture with its splendid natural scenery and sense of timelessness. In 1995 UNESCO voted Luang Prabang as a World Heritage City.

You will be met upon arrival at Luang Prabang International Airport (LPQ) and transfer and check in at your hotel.

Start your visit at Wat Xieng Thong, considered 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.

Lunch is at Le Café Ban Vat Sene

After lunch, visit Wat Visoun, the oldest temple in Luang Prabang and the site of the impressive Singhalese style That Makmo stupa. Then take a short walk to the nearby Wat Aham, which is one of the city's major tutelary shrines, dedicated to revered spirits Deveta Luang and 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 and then relax and enjoy a Luang Prabang sunset at Wat Prabaht Tai which is located along the Mekong River.

Dinner is at the hotel

Meal included:
Lunch at Le Café Ban Vat Sene
Dinner at the hotel
Luang Prabang

At 10:00 hours: Board a luxury boat for a trip on the Mekong River to Pak Ou Caves.

As you relax and enjoy your cruise on the Mekong we stop to visit a local village of Ban Muang Kham that is known for producing riverweed called Khaipen in Lao language. This river-weed is a famous dish from Luang Prabang. It is highly nutritious and makes a delicious appetizer. We continue the cruise to Tam Ting Caves (also called the Pak Ou caves). This is a site of ancient spiritual significance. It was here, during the 15th century, that the animistic religions were peacefully united with Buddhism. Within the two caves of Tam Ting are stupas, shrines, and carvings of Buddha. Over 4,000 wooden figures of Buddha, many highly ornate, stand within the natural limestone caves, testament to the skill of Lao craftsmen centuries ago. After taking time to appreciate this important spiritual site we board the iMekong boat and savor local cuisine for lunch, whilst cruising back to Luang Prabang.

Return time to Luang Prabang is 14:30 hours

Rest of the afternoon at leisure.

Dinner at 3 Nagas Restaurant

Meal included:
Lunch at a local restaurant
Dinner at 3 Nagas Restaurant
Luang Prabang

Early Morning
Early this morning at 6:00 hours you depart from your hotel to see the orange-robed monks gather for their morning alms. The monks walk barefoot collecting offerings from local residents which they then take back to the monastery to share. You will join along with the local people giving alms to the monks. The custom of alms gathering is an ancient monastic tradition where the monks or nuns, walk quietly with their alms bowl visible, allowing interested people to offer food.

After the serenity of the alms giving is complete visit the vibrant and colourful local fresh morning market. This energising market is where villagers from the remote areas sell their products. Engage with the sellers and maybe pick up some local produce to try. Return to your hotel for breakfast.

After breakfast you will drive about 30 kilometres to start your discovery of Kuang Si. 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.

Arrive at the waterfalls which tumble over multi-tiered limestone formations into cool, clear pools ideal for swimming and relaxing. Visit the "Bear Lao" Bear Sanctuary on the path up to the pools of the waterfall and see the bears, which are rescued from bear bile farms and illegal private zoos, in their rehabilitation enclosures. Enjoy a picnic lunch nearby to the waterfalls.

After lunch 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, ensures you have made a sustainable impact in 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.

Then return to Luang Prabang and en route, visit the small village of Ban Xang Khong to see how traditional Sa paper is made.

Dinner is at L’Elephant Restaurant

Estimated driving time/distance:
1 hour/60 kilometres

Meal included:
Picnic lunch at Kuang Si
Dinner at L’Elephant Restaurant
Luang Prabang


At 8:30 hours depart Luang Prabang. Tour guides will pick up clients from hotels or guesthouses. Arrive at MandaLao. Mandalao provides, “An intimate non-riding experience focused on education and elephant welfare”. Over coffee and tea, the expert guides and Mahouts at MandaLao will provide you with an in-depth introduction into elephant behaviour and communication.

Cross the Nam Khan River for your first introduction to elephants. You will have some tasty treats for the elephants to enjoy. Enjoy observing the bathing, playing and swimming experience with the elephants. Note in cold weather the elephants are less likely to want to get wet. Begin your 2-hour trek (approximately 2.5km) and pass the beautiful Lao gardens before exploring the jungle-covered Huay Nok stream. You will walk alongside the elephants allowing you to gain insights, respect and understandings about these amazing animals. After some final treats for the elephants say goodbye and begin your trek back to MandaLao.

For lunch enjoy traditional Lao cuisine made primarily from our own organic produce. Relax and reflect on your experience whilst enjoying the view of the verdant and misty mountains. After lunch, leave for Luang Prabang. Drop off at your hotel or guesthouse approximately 13:30 hours.

Afternoon and dinner at leisure.

Meal included:
Lunch at MandaLao
Departure Luang Prabang

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. Enjoy lunch at Khaiphaen Restaurant, a vocational training restaurant serving the best in local Laotian cuisine.

After lunch transfer to Luang Prabang International Airport for your flight departure.

Meal included:
Lunch at Khaiphaen Restaurant

customise the tour

  • On Day 1 upgrade dinner to fine dining at Paste at The Apsara
  • On Day 2 add on the afternoon join with one of our local expert guides for a unique look at the town
  • On Day 3 upgrade to the Alms Giving with iMekong and observe Tat Bat in a quiet village location.
  • On Day 4 add a late afternoon Private Baci ceremony or a Diethelm Exclusive Private Sunset drinks and canapés experience or add a private luxury sunset cruise
  • Extend your stay in Laos with a luxurious 2-day, 1-night cruise on the Mekong to the Thai border
  • Extend your stay in Laos with a trip to the picturesque Namkat Yorla Pa resort


  • Meals as stated in the programme
  • Transfers and tours with your selected guide (English Speaking Guide, French Speaking Guide, German Speaking Guide) in private air-conditioned vehicles
  • All entrance fees as mentioned in the programme
  • Mineral water & Cool tower are available on the vehicles


  • Accommodation
  • Optional tours
  • Surcharges for other language guides
  • Surcharges for Lao Pimai (New Year)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenditure
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • Soft drinks with meals
Tour code: 5LEPEC

Share this package