7-Day Best of Laos

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Tour type

Tour Level: High level

Tour Comfort: Luxury

Tour Period: 7 Days

tour highlights

  • Take in the city views from Vat Phousi Hill
  • Admire the tranquil Kuang Si Waterfalls
  • Cruise the Mekong on a traditional riverboat
  • Visit the Alak tribal village
  • Wander the Pakse local market
  • Admire the prehistoric rock paintings at Phateam

tour details

Experience the fascinating history & scenery of Laos as you traverse this oft forgotten destination.

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 maintained 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. Enjoy lunch at local restaurant before visiting 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, and climb Vat Phousi hill for an outstanding view over the city. Continue to visit Vat Mai, built in 1796 and famous for the five-tiered roof of its wooden sim before catching the sunset at Vat Prabht Tai along the Mekong River.

Dinner 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, depart by road to the Kuang Si Waterfalls (about a 1-hour drive). The waterfalls tumble over multi-tiered limestone formations into cool, clear pools ideal for swimming and relaxing. On the way to the waterfalls, visit the Khmu minority village of Ban Thapaene.
Enjoy a picnic lunch nearby the waterfalls then return to Luang Prabang. On the way, visit Ban Xang Khong village to see how traditional paper is made.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit Vat Xieng Thong, considered the town’s most beautiful temple. 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.
Then 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. Have lunch at a local restaurant overlooking the Mekong and Nam Ou Rivers. 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.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport for a Lao Airlines flight to Vientiane. 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. All other temples in the city have undergone extensive restoration.
Vat Sisaket 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. King Setthathirath built this great sacred stupa 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 at a local restaurant.

Accommodation at the hotel.
Have breakfast at the hotel before an early morning transfer to the airport for a Lao Airlines flight to Pakse. Meet upon arrival at Pakse Airport, transfer and check in at the hotel. After checking in, head out to Tadlo (90 kilometres from Pakse), located on the northern edge of the Bolaven Plateau.
Tadlo is touted as an eco-friendly resort near the Xeset Waterfall. En route, make a short visit to the Katou village of Ban Houeihoun. The Katou minority group earns their livelihood from forest products. In this village, one thing worth pointing out is that the women do not use handlooms for weaving as in other parts of the country. Lunch at the Tadlo resort.
Continue on to visit Alak and Nge tribal villages before driving back to Pakse via Paksong and visiting a tea and coffee plantation.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Board a longtail riverboat for a 1.5-hour cruise on the Mekong River toward the former royal capital of Champasak then continue by car to the pre-Angkorian Vat Phu Temple, which was active during the 6th to 13th centuries. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002, Vat Phu Temple lies on a hillside and offers spectacular views of the surrounding plains and Mekong River. Hindu Khmer probably chose the site because of the spring that flows from near the top of the hill.
Historians say that Phu Pasak was in fact sacred to the pre-Angkorian Kingdom of Chenla (6th century) and may have been the site of human sacrifices. It was later converted into a Buddhist temple but much of the original Hindu sculptures remain. The lintels feature various forms of Vishnu and Shiva as well as Kala, the Hindu god of time and death. The naga stairway is lined with plumeria (dokchampa), the Lao national flower.
After lunch at a local restaurant, continue the drive to Ban Khiet Ngong village and reach the enigmatic Phu Asa temple, which lies amidst the dense jungle.

Return to Pakse and have dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, visit Pakse’s local market, then drive to Chong Mek immigration checkpoint (border crossing to Thailand). Meet with your Thai guide at Chong Mek and transfer to Khongjiam district by passing Pak Moon Dam.
Journey out on a walking tour through the prehistoric rock paintings at Phateam where the paintings are believed to be about 4,000 years old. The paintings depict a variety of animals and humans along Mekong River at that time. Lunch at Aranya restaurant at Khongjiam district or in Ubon Ratchathani.

After lunch, continue to Ubon Ratchathani Airport for the departure flight to Bangkok (airfare is not included in the tour price).

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: LD7

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