Delight in the Buddhist temples and French Colonial influence of Laos’ capital Vientiane
Explore the culture and architectural heritage of Luang Prabang
Experience the Mekong and visit the sacred temples at Pak Ou Caves
Enjoying the majesty and natural beauty of the Kuang Si Waterfall
Visit the National Museum in Luang Prabang
Vientiane to Luang Prabang is a combination of the cultural and architectural heritage of Vientiane and Luang Prabang, with a trip on the Mekong to visit cave temples and to witness the stunning natural beauty of waterfalls.
Why choose this tour?
Take a journey to discover Vientiane and Luang Prabang. Admire beautiful architecture, authentic traditions and cultural heritage, along with the chance to savour some of the best fine-dining in Laos. Spend time on the Mekong River and visit sacred caves and stunning waterfalls.
You will be met upon arrival at Vientiane (Wattay) International Airport, after which you transfer and check in at your 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. Lunch is at Lao Kitchen Restaurant with the opportunity to try some traditional Laotian cuisine.
The afternoon is spent visiting the monasteries starting with 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. One of the most photographed images of Vientiane is 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.
Dinner tonight is at Kualao Restaurant
Lunch at Lao Kitchen Restaurant
Dinner at Kualao Restaurant
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Vientiane (Wattay) Airport for the Lao Airlines flight to Luang Prabang. You will be met upon arrival at Luang Prabang Airport, and then transfer to check-in at your hotel.
The crown jewel of Laos and former Lanexang, Luang Prabang, is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in South East 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.
Start your discovery of Luang Prabang with a visit to 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. The visit is followed by lunch at Le Tangor Restaurant.
In the afternoon there is the opportunity to visit Wat Visoun, the oldest temple in Luang Prabang and the site of the impressive Singhalese style That Makmo stupa. Then we can 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. Next, 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. Round off the afternoon by relaxing and enjoying a Luang Prabang sunset at Wat Prabaht Tai, located along the Mekong River.
Dinner tonight is at 3 Nagas Restaurant
Lunch at Le Tango Restaurant
Dinner at 3 Nagas Restaurant
Following breakfast at the hotel, board a traditional riverboat for a trip upstream the Mekong River to visit the famous caves of Pak Ou housing thousands of statues representing Lord Buddha. Continue on to Ban Muang Keo village, where you will see the production of coloured fabric, which is woven on simple weaving looms. Lunch is at Ammala Restaurant overlooking the Mekong River.
After lunch, take some time to walk around Ban Pak Ou Village, a small Laotian fishermen's village on the Mekong River. Then, return to Luang Prabang by boat and continue on by car to visit Ban Phanom, a weaving village populated by Tai Lu that originally came from Sipsongpanna in Southern China. Once back in Luang Prabang we stop at Ock Pop Tok (“East meets West”) to learn more about traditional Lao weaving and silk culture.
Dinner at L’Elephant Restaurant
Lunch at Ammala Restaurant
Dinner at L’Elephant Restaurant
Breakfast at the hotel and then visit the colourful local, fresh morning market. This energising market is where villagers from the remote areas come each day to sell their products. Engage with the sellers and maybe pick up some local produce to try. After the market drive about 30km 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 that are 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 Hmong known for its handicraft production, and the Ban Xang Khong village to see how traditional Sa paper is made.
Breakfast at the hotel and then there is time to 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 the townspeople. 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. The exhibits contain text, photographs and objects from villages throughout the north of Laos. After a morning sightseeing lunch is taken at Khaiphaen Restaurant, a vocational training restaurant serving the best in local Laotian cuisine.
After lunch, transfer to Luang Prabang International Airport for departure.
Lunch at Khaiphaen Restaurant
customise the tour
Day 3 add on a private Baci ceremony and experience a traditional Lao custom
Diethelm Exclusive: Day 4 add on a sunset champagne and canapes picnic by the river
Day 4 or Day 5 add on a quintessential part of Lao culture and experience Alms Giving and a luxury early morning cruise with breakfast
Day 4 or Day 5 treat your mind and body and add on a private yoga or meditation session
Day 4 treat yourself to the full flavor experience of Lao cuisine and upgrade dinner to Paste @ The Apsara
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
Domestic airfare to / from Lao (quoted separately, if requested
International airfare to / from Lao (quoted separately, if requested)
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
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