Laos

5-Day Mekong trip to Luang Prabang and Vientiane

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Tour type

Tour Level:

Tour Comfort:

Tour Period: 5 Days

tour highlights

  • Experience the Mekong on a traditional wooden riverboat. 
  • Visit the sacred temples at Pak Ou Caves
  • Discover the Lu weaving village
  • Admire the architectural heritage of Luang Prabang UNESCO World Heritage City
  • Enjoy serene Buddhist monasteries and quaint French architecture in Vientiane

tour details

Mekong Trip to Luang Prabang and Vientiane combines the natural beauty and scenic views of a boat trip along the Mekong, with the cultural and architectural sightseeing afforded by Laos’ two main cities.

 

Why choose this tour?

This tour is well-suited for those looking for an experience of cruising on the Mekong River, discovering the natural beauty of Laos and exploring the culture and history of Laos’ cities.

Arrival Houay Xai
You will be met upon arrival at Houay Xai immigration checkpoint and then transferred to the boat pier to join the cruise.

Morning
Embark a traditional wooden riverboat and begin your cruise down the Mekong River, the "Mother of Waters". The mighty river has maintained its untamed character with rapids and pristine forests along each bank which you can sit back and enjoy. En route, you will 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. Afterwards continue on to visit another village, Ban Kon Teun, home of the Lu minority and a village famous for the weaving. Here you can ask questions to learn about the traditions of this handicraft. Lunch is on board the riverboat.

Late Afternoon
Arrive in Pakbeng. This rustic town-village sits on a steep hillside and offers spectacular views over the Mekong River.

Dinner is at the hotel.

Meal included:
Lunch on board
Dinner at the hotel
Morning
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 you glimpses of life for those who live along its banks. Look out for fishermen and small dwellings seemingly clinging to the shoreline. Lunch is taken on board.

Afternoon
After lunch stop at Pak Ou village and visit the sacred caves, which house over a thousand Buddha statues. From Pak Ou it is on to Luang Prabang, where you transfer and check in at the hotel.

The crown jewel of Laos and former Lanexang, Luang Prabang, is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast 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.

Dinner at the accommodation

Meal included:
Lunch at a local restaurant
Dinner at the hotel
Morning
After a relaxing breakfast at your 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 and ancestors, Pu Gneu Ya Gneu. For a change of perspective, we climb Wat Phousi Hill for a stunning 360-degree view over the city. Then, continue to 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 is at Le Tangor Restaurant

Afternoon
After lunch visit 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. Then it is time to relax and enjoy a Luang Prabang Sunset at Wat Prabaht Tai, located along the Mekong River.

Dinner is at 3 Nagas Restaurant

Meal included:
Lunch at Le Tangor Restaurant
Dinner at 3 Nagas Restaurant
Morning
After breakfast at the hotel, visit the Traditional Art & 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. Next visit the National Museum (former King's Palace) displaying a collection of personal artefacts of the Royal Family. Then stroll through the lively old quarter to discover the daily lifestyle of the townspeople. Lunch is at Le Café Ban Vat Sene.

Afternoon
After lunch, transfer to Luang Prabang Airport for Lao Airlines flight to Vientiane. You will be met upon arrival at Vientiane Wattay Airport and then transfer and check-in at your hotel. After checking-in visit the surrounding areas of Vientiane including the Buddha Park, located 24km south of Vientiane, and take a look at the impressive Friendship Bridge.

Dinner will be at Kua Lao Restaurant

Meal included:
Lunch at Le Café Ban Vat Sene
Dinner at Kua Lao Restaurant
Morning
After breakfast at the hotel, 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. Lunch is at Lao Kitchen Restaurant.

Afternoon
After lunch, continue to visit one of the most photographed images of Vientiane, 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.

After visiting the temples, transfer to Vientiane Wattay International Airport for your departure flight.

customise the tour

  • Day 2 or 3 add on a private Baci ceremony and experience a traditional Lao custom
  • Diethelm Exclusive: Day 2 or 3 add on a sunset champagne and canapes picnic by the river
  • Day 3 or Day 4 experience a quintessential part of Lao culture and add on an Alms Giving with iMekong early morning cruise with breakfast

Extend your stay in Vientiane and discover the natural beauty of the surrounding are with:

  • A Full Day Orchid trek
  • A Full Day trip to Nam Ngum Lake
  • A Full Day trip to the National Protected Area of Phou Khao Khouay (‘Buffalo Horn Mountain’)

inclusive

  • 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 or French 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

exclusive

  • Domestic airfare to / from Lao (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
Tour code: 5MKTEC

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