Serene Laos is one of Asia’s most unvisited and charming countries, still retaining its colonial character from the time of Laos’s kingdom. This tour allows you to experience the gorgeous unspoiled forest that teems with fauna and flora, splendid landscape and river scenery. You will gain an insight into the lives of the local people and see how their lifestyles are slowly emerging from years of isolation from the outside world.
Day 1. Arrival – Luang Prabang ( D )
On arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After a short rest, we visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham and Wat Mai. We then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a beautiful sunset view of the city and the Mekong River. From there, we explore the Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by the hilltribe and local people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 2. Luang Prabang – Pak Ou cave – Khouangsi Waterfall (B,L,D )
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (often in the form of sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the ritual. You can also visit the morning Phosi Market where you canl see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings.
AM: After breakfast, we enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple of Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. We then board a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a panaromic view of the tranquil countryside as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious of Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. Along the way, we stop at the small village of Ban Xanghai, where the local rice wine is distilled. We return to Luang Prabang in the afternoon, on the way we take a short drive to Ban Phanom, a small village well known for its hand weaving.
PM: After lunch we continue towards Khouangsi Waterfall, en route, we visit the local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, Ban Ou, Laoloum and Ban Thapene, then drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall. Here you can take a dip in the inviting pools or walk along the forest trails surrounding the waterfall. We return to Luang Prabang by late afternoon and continue to Ban Xangkhong, a village well known for silk handweaving and for traditional Saa Paper making. We return to the city by late evening to watch the sunset at Wat Siphouthabath. Overnight in Luang Prabang
Day 3. Luang Prabang – Vientiane (B,L,D ) The National Museum (closed Tuesdays) at the former Royal Palace, displays a lovely collection of the artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign. The National Museum and the Central Market are not to be missed. We visit these sights in the morning before catching our flight back to Vientiane.
Upon arrival in Vientiane, we see the major sights of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket, the temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. On the way to Lao’s national precious heritage, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, we stop enroute to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. We watch the sunset by Mekong Riverside and spend the evening here absorbing the city’s nightlife. Overnight in Vientiane
Day 4. Vientiane – Departure (B,)
After breakfast, we visit the Morning Market and the weaving village of Ban Nong Bouathong (if time permits). The tour ends after your transfer to Wattay airport for departure.