Remote villages, tribal crafts and rolling mountains
Lao culture is centered on the pleasures of life: eating, drinking, sleeping and chatting with friends. known as the jewel of Southeast Asia, the country has remained relatively untouched from modern globalisation, making it a great destination to visit.
Laos, officially known as Laos People’s Democratic Republic (LPDR), is
assured to give you a unique experience unlike any other Asian country
can. Although small in size, Laos has endless offerings from adventurous activities such as kayaking, cycling, zip
lining, trekking to more composed sessions visiting temple and going on
Travellers come to Laos to experience the rolling mountains, remote villages, tribal crafts and the magic of the Mekong. Laos is a land of Buddhist traditions, where saffron-robed young monks wak the halls of the the wats (temples) and no one is in a hurry. It is a land of golden temples, majestic mountains and magnificent scenery.
Laos is a country untouched by the modern demands of the Western world. There is a calmer more peaceful way of life. The beauty of the country lies in the Lao people, century-old traditions and heritage, and in its lush, pristine landscape. As one of the least-populated countries in Asia, Laos enchants visitors with its incredible serenity and quiet peaceful spiritual atmosphere. It is filled with centuries-old temples in Luang Prabang and endless river caves, with a mix of colonial charm yet unique culture.
Day-2: Vientiane - Udomxay - Muang La (B)
Day-3: Muang La -Exploration (B-L)
Day-4: Muang La - Luang Prabang (B)
Day-5: Luang Prabang - full day city tour (B)
Day-6: Luang Prabang - Kuang Si Waterfall and Pak Ou Caves (B)
Day-7: Luang Prabang -Departure (B)
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HIGHLIGHTS OF LAOS ITINERARY
On arrival in Vientiane, you will be met and transferred to your accommodation.
Your half day city tour, begins with the oldest wat in Vientiane, Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues, and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which now serves as a museum of arts and antiques. We then travel up Lanexang Avenue where you will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxai Monument, which resembles its Parisian inspiration, the Arc de Triomphe. The climb to the top offers great views over Vientiane. We continue down Rue Singha 23 to Laos' National icon, and most important religious building, the golden stupa of That Luang. The final visit of the day will be the excellent COPE exhibition centre, highlighting a much overlooked aspect of Laos and a major problem many of the local people face on a day to day basis, in the form of unexploded ordinance as a result of heavy bombing campaigns during the Vietnam War area. We then return to your hotel.
Day-2: Vientiane - Hin Boun (B)
You will be picked up this morning from your hotel and transferred south along route 13 to the central Lao province of Khammoune. En route we stop at Prabaht Ponsan, a stupa dating back to the 15th Century. It is also home to the Budhhas footprint, left when, as legend has it, he was crossing the Mekong. After lunch we make stop at the interesting Ban Ton Na Mae Hmong Market, then continue to Khammoune province and the mountainous area, where a stop at a view point near Khoun Kham offers a breathtaking view over the karst scenery, or 'limestone forest'. We arrive at your accommodation by mid afternoon where you have the rest of the day at leisure.
Day-3: Hin Boun - river cruise & Kong Lor cave (B-L)
After breakfast at your lodge, we drive to Kong Lor village and board a small local boat into the famous Kong Lor Cave. We navigate through the cave, which is over 7km long and includes a spectacular cavern over 100m high, as well as a breathtaking stalagmite gallery which you can explore on foot. On the other side of the cave, we take a short walk past some tobacco drying huts to Ban PonNgam, a remote village, where you can enjoy your picnic lunch. Following lunch, we return through the cave by boat, then continue by river downstream for a two-hour boat trip, taking in the spectacular limestone scenery en route. You will arrive back at your lodge by late afternoon where you have the rest of the day at leisure.
Day-4: Hin Boun - Muang Khoun - Phonsavan (B)
We depart early this morning (7am) for the long drive along the backroads of Laos. Our first stop is Ban Thabuk, the 'bomb boat village' which are technically fuel tanks from the Vietnam War used as boats. We continue through the countryside, stopping to admire the Nam Mouan River before arriving at Ban Thasi for lunch. In the afternoon we begin our climb up into the mountains and stop at a number of minority villages, including at Tai Lu weaving village, and a Hmong village. Late afternoon, we arrive at the ancient town of Muang Khoun, the former provincial capital, where you can explore the ruins of a number of ancient pagodas in the Lanna style and Wat Phiawat, a ruined temple containing a huge sitting Buddha. We arrive in Phonsavan by early evening.
Day-5: Phonsavan - Plain of Jars (B)
This morning we visit the interesting Central Market, as well as the Mines Action Group (or MAG) office to learn about the important work they do in clearing land mines and unexploded ordnance in the area. We then drive out to the picturesque Jar Site 2, and begin a 1 hour trek along the ridge to Jar Site 3, consisting over around 150 jars located on top of a hill, offering great views. In the afternoon we visit Jar Site 1, the largest site, containing over 300 jars, before returning to your hotel by late afternoon.
Day-6: Phonsavan - Luang Prabang by road (B)
We start early this morning, visiting the interesting Central Market, then we begin our long, but scenic drive to Luang Prabang. En route we stop at Ban Somboun, a Hmong village. In the afternoon we visit Ban Kiu Kharm Pom, a friendly Khmu village, and Ban Nam Ming, which offers nice views from its bridge and an opportunity to stretch your legs. We arrive in Luang Prabang by mid afternoon where the rest of the day is at leisure.
Day-7: Luang Prabang - city tour, Pak Ou Caves & Mekong boat cruise (B)
You can discuss with your guide for an optional early morning start (5.30am) to witness and partake in the daily morning ritual of 'Tak Bat' or giving alms to the monks. This is a unique ritual still followed by the locals in Luang Prabang. We can also visit the local fresh market to see how the locals shop, before returning to your hotel for breakfast. After breakfast we visit the quaint Royal Palace Museum, which gives a good overview of the local history. We also visit the country's most historic and enchanting temple Wat Xiengthong, with its roof sweeping low to the ground, representing the classical Luang Prabang style, we board a private boat for a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which gives us a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside. Our first stop is the village of Ban Muangkeo where we start a short trek to reach the mysterious caves of Pak Ou, two caves set in a limestone cliff facing the Mekong River crammed with thousands Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes. We then return to Luang Prabang by boat, stopping at the weaving and textile villages of Ban Xangkhong and Ban Nongxai. We arrive back in Luang Prabang by mid afternoon where you have the option to climb Mount Phousi which offers a spectacular view over Luang Prabang and the Mekong River.
Day-8: Luang Prabang - Half day Kuang Si Waterfall (B)
After breakfast, we visit Ock Pop Tock, a silk weaving centre. Here you will be given a guided tour and the silk weaving process will be explained. We then drive out of the town where you have the option of stopping to visit Khmu, Hmong and Lao Loum villages, representing the main ethnic groups of Laos. This then takes us to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the turquoise pool or walk along the forest trails. Next to the falls is a Bear Rescue Centre, that does a great job in protecting and rehabilitating the rare Asiatic Black Bear. We then return to Luang Prabang by lunchtime. The afternoon is at leisure.
Day-9: Luang Prabang - departure (B)
Depending on your flight, you may have time at leisure before your departing flight.
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The best time to travel to Laos is between October and April when the weather is warm and dry throughout the country .During the dry season, the temperatures are usually no higher than 30 °C, and cool enough in the evenings when you may need long sleeves or a light jacket. It doesn't rain much at this time.
During the wet season, the weather is hot with temperatures reaching 35 °C and above, and has thunderstorm in the afternoon or at dusk. The hottest weather is typically in May and June, and the heaviest rainfall is generally in August and September, especially in the southern part of Laos. River travel is ideal between November and January when high water levels make passing through much easier.
Laos is one of the safest tourist destinations in Southeast Asia – locals are often helpful and polite to foreigners. Petty crime, such as theft and bag snatching, is common in tourist areasThere are some off-limits areas, which contain unexploded bombs left over from warfare.
The local currency in Laos is the Lao Kip (LAK); and USD 1 is equivalent to 8,482.85 kip (as of 30 August 2018). LAK is used for most transactions, but US dollars and Thai Baht are also acceptable in popular tourist cities and towns, such as Luang Prabang and Vientiane. Generally LAK is expected for smaller purchases, and dollars or baht for more expensive purchases.
It's easy to exchange US Dollars or Thai Baht in Laos. So we recommend exchanging the amount you need when you are in Laos.
Yes you do. We do not recommend travelling without it and require it for our tours. Accidents, medical emergencies, travel delays or other problems can occur in any country and the resulting costs can be significant. Here is a link if you do not already have your own preferred provider.