9-Day Northern Temples and Tribes

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Tour type

Tour Level: High level

Tour Comfort: Luxury

Tour Period: 9 Days

tour highlights

  • Explore the traditional way of life in an authentic northern Laos village
  • Visit Muang Sing, a cultural nexus
  • Shop at a diverse and lively local market
  • Observe rice wine distillation
  • Admire the spectacular Vat Xieng Thong temple

tour details

Visit the ancient temples and tribal villages that make up the rich culture of northern Laos.

Meet upon arrival at Houei Xay immigration checkpoint. Drive on the route Houei Xay - Luang Namtha and stop to visit Ban Lu village, an authentic North-Lao village. Walk through the village to explore the daily lifestyle of the villagers and have lunch at local restaurant. Continue the tour, and visit a Khmu Village before arriving Luang Namtha.

Dinner and accommodation at guesthouse.
Breakfast at the guesthouse. Begin driving to Muang Sing and visit an Ikhor minority village en route. The Ikhor belong to the ethnic Khor group, once originally called “Akho” or “Akha“ which means “older brother“ in Lao. They emigrated from South China about 500 years ago due to war and entered the Lanexang kingdom of Laos through the southwest.
Upon entering Laos, the Khor group divided into sub-tribes: Khor Pho Xang, Debla, Loma, Eupa and Mu Kuew. The women of Khor tribes are skilled in weaving, knitting and ornamental sewing, while the men are excellent woodworkers. Continue to visit a Lanten minority village.
Upon arrival in Muang Sing, check in at the hotel. Since the late 16th century, the small town of Muang Sing has been a traditional Thai cultural nexus as well as a trade centre attracting a large variety of hill tribes.
Enjoy lunch at local restaurant then visit the Muang Sing Exhibitions, which display a collection of cultural artefacts from the area, such as fishing utensils, looms, gongs, bells, pottery, musical instruments and local ethnic costumes. Visit Vat Xieng Jai and Vat Nam Keo Luang, two temples which show Thai Lu architectural influence.

Dinner and accommodation at the guesthouse.
Breakfast at the guesthouse. Visit the colourful local market where the various minority people come early in the morning to sell their products before heading out on an all-day excursion and soft trek to the surrounding hilltribe villages: Ikhor, Yao or Mien, Lanten.
The Yao originally came from Yunnan Province in southern China. In their villages, the Yao maintain a large extended family in the same household. Yao women are easily recognised by their high turbans and long indigo gowns bordered with bright pink wool boa collars. Lunch at a local restaurant.

Dinner and accommodation at the guesthouse.
Breakfast at the guesthouse. Drive back to Luang Namtha and en route visit the weaving village of Ban Thongpoung and Ban Nam Ngene village to observe the rice wine distillation. Lunch at a local restaurant in Luang Namtha. Continue toward Oudomxay and upon arrival, check in at the hotel.

Dinner at a local restaurant.
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Pakbeng. En route, visit the weaving village of Thai Dam and Ban Kmu village. Lunch at local restaurant in Muang Houn. Continue toward Pakbeng and upon arrival, check in at the hotel.
Dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Continue the journey via cruise toward Luang Prabang. Enjoy lunch on board and stop at Pak Ou to visit the sacred caves which house over a thousand Buddha statues. Upon arrival in Luang Prabang, 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.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning visit 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 dedicated to Deveta Luang (spirit) and Pu Gneu Ya Gneu (ancestors). Continue to visit Vat Mai, built in 1796 and famous for the five-tiered roof of its wooden sim.
Next, 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-metr-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.
Witness sunset at Vat Prabaht Tai located along the Mekong River.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. 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. Visit the rescued bears of the “Bear Lao” project at their enclosure while walking along the several pools up the waterfall. On the way to the waterfalls, you’ll also visit minority villages for a glimpse into their lifestyle. Picnic lunch nearby the waterfalls. Return to Luang Prabang.

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. Next, stroll through the lively old quarter to discover the daily lifestyle of local villagers.

Have lunch at a local restaurant then transfer to the airport for departure (air ticket not included in 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: NM9

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