8-Day Laos Landscapes

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Tour type

Tour Level: High level

Tour Comfort: Luxury

Tour Period: 8 Days

tour highlights

  • Wander the fascinating Vang Xang archaeological site
  • Explore the Plain of Jars
  • Visit traditional Hmong villages
  • Take a peaceful boat ride down the Mekong River
  • Stroll through the lively Phousi Market

tour details

As a country of rivers, mountains and plains, Laos offers everchanging and always fascinating sights.

Meet upon arrival at Vientiane Wattay Airport and transfer to the hotel to check in. 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 the hotel, begin sightseeing with a visit to the charming Vat Sisaket, with its many wall niches holding small Buddhas, and Ho Phra Keo, a former royal temple, as well as other nearby city temples including Vat Mixai, Vat Ong Teu, Vat Hai Sok and Vat In Paeng. Later, take a drive around town to see French colonial architecture and Patouxay, Vientiane’s version of the Arc de Triomphe.
Around sunset, visit Pha That Luang, a national symbol of Lao sovereignty and a Buddhist shrine. Enjoy the evening at leisure – try shopping for textiles and local handicrafts.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Vang Xang archeological site. The name means Elephant Palace, a reference to an elephant graveyard found in the vicinity. The site, which consists of a cluster of 10-metre-high relief Buddha sculptures situated on cliffs, is thought to come from the 11th century.
Continue by car to Vang Vieng, about a 3-hour drive away, observing rural life along the road and visiting Ban Houeimo, the fish market village. Upon arrival in Vang Vieng, check in at the hotel and have lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon take a small, 2-person boat on a 30-minute ride down the Nam Song River to visit the biological gardens. Also visit the natural cave of Tham Chang and explore Vang Vieng Township.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Continue by car to Xieng Khouang Province 234 kilometres away (a 7-hour drive). On the way, have lunch at a local restaurant and stop to visit some minority villages.
Upon arrival in Xieng Khouang in the late afternoon, transfer to the hotel in Phonesavanh and check in.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, visit the local market where the ethnic minorities (Thai Dam, Hmong, and Phuan) from the surrounding villages gather every morning. Near Phonesavanh is the mysterious Plain of Jars featuring massive, ancient stone jars weighing up to as much as six tonnes. The jars have been fashioned from solid stone, most from a tertiary conglomerate known as molasses, akin to sandstone, and a few from granite.
Lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, drive to Muang Khoun, former capital of Xieng Khouang and visit Lao Loum and Hmong villages.

Return to Phonesavanh with dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, journey on a 5-hour drive to Luang Prabang. On the way, stop to visit minority villages and to take photos of the remarkable scenery. Lunch at a local restaurant. Upon arrival at Luang Prabang in the afternoon, transfer to the hotel and check in.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Begin your exploration of this UNESCO World Heritage City fittingly called one of the last Shangri-Las of Southeast Asia with a visit to Vat Xieng Thong, the most important Buddhist monastery in the country. 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.
From there, take a walking tour visiting some of the most impressive temples in town including Vat Visoun and That Makmo.
Continue to the nearby Vat Aham, which is one of the city’s major tutelary shrines dedicated to Deveta Luang (spirit) and Pu Gneu Ya Gneu (ancestors), and then to Vat Mai, built in 1796 and famous for the five-tiered roof of its wooden sim.
Continue your sightseeing with a visit to the former Royal Palace, now a National Museum, where there are ornate gilded and brocaded reception rooms, Buddha artefacts, including the Pra Bang (a large holy image) which was given in the 14th century to King Fa Ngum by the Khmers, and more.
Lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, walk by the Vats of Chum Khong, Xieng Muan and Pa Phai, then follow the Mekong River to the silversmith whose family worked for the Royal family. He has a small selection of good quality silver dishes, plates and jewellery. The Vat at Xieng Muan is also important because here the monks learn the temple arts of gilding, roof making, etc.
Sunset at Vat Phrabat Tai located along the Mekong River.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
This morning, rise early and participate in the daily early morning ritual of saffron-clad monks with their black alms bowls being given offerings, such as sticky rice, from the local people. Return to the hotel for breakfast. Later in the morning, board a boat for a peaceful voyage down the Mekong River stopping at the caves at Pak Ou and passing many small villages along the way.
Hollowed out of massive limestone cliffs, the caves are full of gilded Buddha’s of all shapes and sizes. From there, visit the village of Ban Muang Keo and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant overlooking the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Ou Rivers. Return to Luang Prabang, and continue by car to visit the villages of Ban Xom, known for its cotton production, and Ban Xang Khong, where you’ll see the locals make paper from mulberry trees.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Stroll through the lively Phousi Market where ethnic minorities from the surroundings region come daily to sell their diverse offerings, including dried buffalo skin, local tea, fresh vegetables and hilltribe weavings.

The rest of the day is free at leisure until your departure flight from Luang Prabang Airport.

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: OVVL8

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