Experience the Mekong and visit the sacred temples at Pak Ou Caves
Admire the architectural heritage of Luang Prabang UNESCO World Heritage City
Enjoy the stunning natural wonder of the Kuang Si waterfall.
Follow the locals and explore the fresh morning market
Visit a local Hmong village
Mekong Trip to Luang Prabang combines the natural beauty and scenic views of a boat trip along the Mekong, with the natural, cultural and architectural jewels of Luang Prabang and surrounds.
Why choose this tour?
Discover Laos in the way it’s meant to be; by a slow river journey to the ancient Royal Capital of Luang Prabang. Slip into the timeless flow of this UNESCO World Heritage city and watch carefully as its secrets are slowly revealed.
Arrival Houay Xai - Pakbeng
You will be met upon arrival at Houay Xai immigration checkpoint and then transferred to the boat pier to join the cruise.
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.
Arrive in Pakbeng. This rustic town-village sits on a steep hillside and offers spectacular views over the Mekong River.
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.
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
Lunch at a local restaurant
Dinner at the hotel
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
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 L’Elephant Restaurant
Lunch at Le Tangor Restaurant
Dinner at L’Elephant Restaurant
Breakfast is at the hotel.
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.
After the market we will drive about 30 kilometres (approximately 1-hour drive) to start your discovery of Kuang Si. The waterfalls tumble over multi-tiered limestone formations into cool, clear pools ideal for swimming and relaxing. On the way to the waterfalls, visit small villages of Ban Na Oune, Hmong village and the Khmu minority village of Ban Thapane and discover more about the culture, traditions and daily life of these tribes.
We continue to the waterfalls where you can relax and enjoy a picnic lunch nearby to the waterfalls.
After lunch we visit the 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.
Return to Luang Prabang. On the way, visit Ban Ou, a lowland Lao village known for its cotton production. Continue with two more stops firstly to see silk production at Ban Phanom and then on to Ban Xang Khong village to see how traditional Sa paper is made.
Visit the National Museum (former King's Palace) 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 townspeople. If time permits, we can visit the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center (closed on Mondays), a small 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.
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 departure.
Lunch at Khaiphaen Restaurant
customise the tour
Celebrate the day's end by adding on a luxurious sunset cruise
Diethelm Exclusive: Indulge by adding in a bespoke champagne and canapes sunset moment at our private pier
Start the day by adding in a private facilitated early morning yoga session or meditation practice
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
Domestic airfare (quoted separately, if requested)
International airfare to / from Laos (quoted separately, if requested)
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
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.
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