LAOS WITH LUANG PRABANG
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. This 9 day trip takes you through the most vibrant lands from Vientiane to Luang Prabang. We start from the capital city of Vientiane and travel South- East toward Hin Boun with breathtaking scenery of lime-stone mountains. Here we will have a day exploring the impressive 7km long Kong Lor cave. Continue up north to the infamous Plain of Jars, we spend a day exploring the area. Of course the visit to the mysterious Plain of Jars will be very interesting but at the same time you will learn a lot of boat the secret war that happened heavily in this area. Finally we drive from Xieng Khuang province up north to Luang Prabang to explore the charming UNESCO heritage city.
OverviewDay-1: Vientiane Day-2: Vientiane - Hin Boun (B) Day-3: Hin Boun - river cruise & Kong Lor cave (B-L) Day-4: Hin Boun - Muang Khoun - Phonsavan (B) Day-5: Phonsavan - Plain of Jars (B) Day-6: Phonsavan - Luang Prabang by road (B) Day-7: Luang Prabang - city tour, Pak Ou Caves & Mekong boat cruise (B) Day-8: Luang Prabang - Half day Kuang Si Waterfall (B) Day-9: Luang Prabang - departure (B)
Best: November to April
Duration: 9 days, 8 Nights
Day-1: VientianeOn 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.
End of services
Price includesAirport transfers by private vehicle
Three four or five star hotels with breakfast
All sightseeing tours, entrance fees, guide, transportation
Guide, their wages, insurance and expenses
Price ExcludesInternational flights, departure taxes and any excess baggage charges.
Mandatory travel and medical insurance
Tips, baggage and porterage
Expenses of a personal nature such as bottled drinks, mineral water, morning and afternoon teas etc laundry etc.
Extra expenses and/of additional days caused due to unexpected events (such a flight delays, porterage because of land slides and other natural events.)
Tips and gratuities
Single supplements if applicable
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