7-Day Mountain Spirit Experience

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Tour type

Tour Level: High level

Tour Comfort: Luxury

Tour Period: 7 Days

tour highlights

  • Take a boat cruise down the Mekong River
  • Admire the view from Pak Ou Caves
  • Watch and participate in giving alms to local monks
  • Visit Vientiane's oldest original temple
  • See the largest cascade on the Mekong, the Khone Phapheng Waterfall

tour details

Explore the ancient customs, history, scenery and idyllic islands that make Laos so special.

Meet upon arrival at Houei Xay immigration checkpoint and transfer to the boat pier. Embark on the Luangsay Cruise boat (join-in) to cruise down the Mekong River, the “Mother of Waters”. The mighty river has maintained its untamed character with rapids and pristine rainforests along each bank. En route, stop at Yao and Hmong minority villages and enjoy lunch onboard.
Arrive in Pakbeng in the afternoon. This rustic town-village sits on a steep hillside and offers spectacular views over the Mekong River.

Dinner and accommodation at Luangsay lodge.
Breakfast at the lodge. Continue the cruise towards Luang Prabang. En route, have lunch onboard and stop at Pak Ou to visit the sacred caves, which house over a thousand Buddha statues. Arrive in Luang Prabang and have a private transfer to the hotel for check-in. 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.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Rise early to witness the alms giving to hundreds of monks along the main road. Return to the hotel for breakfast. 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.
Continue to visit Vat Mai, built in 1796 and famous for the five-tiered roof of its wooden sim, and Vat Xieng Thong, considered the town’s most beautiful temple with roofs that sweep low to the ground. Next, visit Vat Visoun, the site of an impressive stupa, That Makmo, and have lunch at a local restaurant. In the early evening, walk up to the top of Phousi Hill for the sunset and panoramic views of the city, then stroll through the old quarter and participate in a Baci ceremony followed by a traditional Lao dance performance.

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.
Stop for lunch at local restaurant before visiting 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, Patousay, 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 along the way is the 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 and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel then 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.
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. Enjoy lunch at local restaurant before continuing to the Ban Kiet Ngong and reach the enigmatic Phu Asa temple, which lies amidst the dense jungle. Afterward continue to Khong Island.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Take a local boat to Ban Khone, visiting ancient railways from the French colonial period and visit Liphi Falls. Drive to Khone Phapheng Waterfall, the largest cascade on the Mekong River along its 4,350-kilometre journey from the Tibetan Plateau toward the South China Sea.
Cross the Mekong River to reach Khong Island, blessed with lush tropical vegetation, serene monasteries and lovely fishing villages. Lunch at local restaurant.
In the afternoon, drive back to Pakse enjoying dinner en route.

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: MS7

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