DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN LUANG PRABANG - CITY TOUR - BACI CEREMONY

On arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to check in the hotel.

After a soft rest, start to visit to Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts.


Continue to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief, which is one of the most beautiful temples in town.


If time permits, we will take a short walk around the small streets of city center, watching the life of local people.

 

Late afternoon, we climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic sunset view of the city and the Mekong River.

 

After that, join a private Baci ceremony at a local family. The Baci ceremony as a traditional ritual of the Lao people expresses the spirituality of the country and is a highly memorable experience and a deep insight into Lao culture for the participants.

 

Dinner will be served after that for you to share with the host family. This is the best chance for you to have first experience of local life and culture.


Meals: dinner

Guide: Available

Overnight: Luang Prabang

 

DAY 2: CRUISE THE MEKONG TO PAK OU CAVES

Wake up as the sun rises, we will prepare to join the most sacred tradition of Laos, the daily morning alms giving, which dates to the 14thcentury. More than 200 Buddhist monks depart from various temple to gather their daily meal from the faithful residents sitting quietly on the streets.

From there, we will visit the temporary morning market near the former Royal Palace. Just set on the ground, the local people come here to barter their day’s catch from rice, to vegetable, to fish, or chicken. This is the best chance to experience the taste of local life.

 

Breakfast at the hotel, we will first visit the city’s oldest temple of Wat Sene. After that, we embark on the leisurely cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside, before reaching the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, a 16th century cave monastery filled with thousands of Buddha images, which locates 25 Kilometers North of Luang Prabang in the limestone cliffs overlooking the Mekong river.  En route, you will stop at Ban Muang Keo, a well-known village for its traditional Lao rice whisky distilling. You will arrive back in Luang Prabang.


On arrival back in the city, visit the magnificent Wat Xiengthong a superb piece of Lao temple architecture, which presents a sweeping two-tiered roof and ornate mosaics including a beautiful ‘tree of life ‘glass montage on the rear temple wall. Our last stop today is the Traditional Art and Ethnology Center (closed on Monday) to learn about Laos’ many ethnic cultures.

 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Guide: Available

Overnight: Luang Prabang

 

DAY 3: RICE EXPERIENCE - KUANG SI WATERFALLS

Begin today’s close-up look at daily Laotian life by heading out for a morning at a community-based living rice farm in the idyllic countryside outside Luang Prabang. Surrounded by mountains and rice paddies, you’ll have an opportunity to experience rural life as a Laotian farmer would, trying your hand at various farm activities – or observing them from a traditional Lao rice house balcony, set amidst rice terraces and an organic vegetable farm. You’ll have time to check out nearby workshops where local bamboo weavers, blacksmiths and sugar cane processors practice their crafts. Then take a tour of the organic garden to learn how natural herbs are used in traditional medicine.

 

We then transfer directly to Kuang Si waterfalls, where we will enjoy the lunch at Carpe Diem Restaurant, nesting inside a tropical green garden.


The afternoon is dedicated to refresh at the beautiful Kuang Si waterfalls which is the biggest in the Luang Prabang area with three tiers leading to a 50-metre drop into spectacular azure pools before flowing downstream. The pools also make great swimming holes and are very popular with both tourists and locals.


We will also take a short visit to the Bear Rescue Center, which houses a couple of dozen animals rescued from the hands of poachers and traffickers.


On the way back to Luang Prabang, we will take a short visit to the Ock Pop Tock Living Craft Center, set serenely close to the Mekong, this beautiful, traditionally styled workshop, where weavers, spinners and batik makers produce top-quality fabrics, offers free tours every half-hour. This is also the perfect spot for you to enjoy the drink, whilst the sun setting behind the mountain. We then transfer back to your hotel.

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch

Guide: Available

Overnight: Luang Prabang

 

 

DAY 4: MAHOUT EXPERIENCE AT ELEPHANT VILLAGE

After breakfast, we will transfer directly to the Elephant Village (start at 8:00 AM in the morning). On arrival at the Elephant Village Camp, welcome and greeting by our camp manager and participate in short briefing about elephants. After that we will enjoy the impressive experience of a 30-minute elephant ride on your elephant’s neck. We then receive basic mahout training on how to control an elephant.


Lunch at the Elephant Restaurant


Bathe Your Elephant: Take your own elephant down to the Nam Khan River for an exhilarating bathing experience!


Boat trip to the Tad Sae Waterfall: Take a traditional Lao long boat to the Tad Sae Waterfall and relax in the clear water.


We are free to stroll around the Elephant Village before transferring directly to the nearby Lao Spirit Resort, the lovely resort nesting inside the virgin forest, overlooking the gentle Nam Khan River, where we will spend the night

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch

Guide: Available

Overnight: Elephant Village  

 

DAY 5: TRANSFER TO BAN THA HEUA VIA VANG VIENG

In the morning, we travel by road south to Vang Vieng. Our intrepid journey will be strenuous as we drive along one of the most scenic region of Laos. The road is now good enough for our drive.

 

After about one hour drive, we will have chance to enjoy the panoramic view at the highest peak of the area, which is more than 2000 meter high. From there, we will drive to visit Pha Hom market, where we can find various offer of wild animals. We will also stop at Ban Phouhin Lekphayto see the life of Khmu hill-tribe. We will make the last photo stop at Phatang Mountain view point to admire the beautiful scenery before reaching Vang Vieng.


Upon arrival, we transfer to visit the cave of Tham Jang, which was used in the early 19th century in defense against the Chinese invaders. From there, we transfer directly to Ban Tha Heua, where we will spend the night at the lovely resort overlooking Nam Ngum Lake, the ‘sea of Laos’. Overnight in Ban Tha Heua

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch

Guide: Available

Overnight: Ban Tha Heua  

 

DAY 6: KAYAKING NAM NGUM LAKE - TRANSFER TO VIENTIANE

Wake up early today, you never want to miss the serene sunrise over the peaceful lake. Our guide will escort you to the nearby area to watch the local villagers preparing for their busy day.
After breakfast, we will join the 2-hour kayaking around the lake of Nam Ngum to the nearby islets on the lake or the local villages.

 

In the afternoon, we bid farewell to the lake and drive to Vientiane. Located on the banks of the Mekong River, this capital conjures up exotic images, with a curious mix of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French influences.

 

Upon arrival, check in your hotel in town. Free for the rest of the day to stroll around this charming town, the most laid-back capital of Asia.

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch

Guide: Available

Overnight: Vientiane   

 

DAY 7: EXPLORE BUDDHA PARK AND THE CITY OF VIENTIANE

In the morning, we will first visit Wat Si Muang, which is very famous for its supernatural power. We then transfer out to see Buddha Park, an enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures on the Mekong Riverside meadow, close to the Friendship Bridge. There are approximately 200 religious images dating back over 500 years, which were created by a mysterious monk spreading his philosophy on life and revealing his ideas about the universe.
In the afternoon, 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 icon, 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. A spectacular view over the Mekong River at sunset is a perfect way to finish the day.

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch

Guide: Available

Overnight: Vientiane   

 

DAY 8: FLY TO PAKSE - EXPLORE BOLAVEN PLATEAU

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DOMESTIC FLIGHT TICKET IS INCLUDED

We are free to stroll around the town before taking the flight to Pakse, the biggest city of the Southern Laos. Upon arrival, we will drive to Tad Phaseum waterfalls, where we enjoy an easy trek to nearby villages of ethnic minority’s villages like Laven, Alak, Taoy, and others.  From there, we drive further to Tadlo Waterfalls, upon arrival, we will trekking to visit waterfall and other minority village near by Tadlo area of Ban Kiengtanglae and Ban Nanong. We then continue driving over the plateau to Paksong. Along the way we will stop Tha Teng Market, a colourfull ethnic minority food market. Next we explore a couple of fascinating minority villages of Ban Pong (An Alak village that boats a sacrificial altar) and Ban Kokphung (A Katu village where they keep coffins under their houses). Our last stop for the day is the beautiful Sinouk Coffee Resort

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch

Guide: Available

Overnight: Pakse   

 

DAY 9: EXPLORE WAT PHOU - TRANSFER TO KHONG ISLAND

After breakfast, we departure for Champasak. Along the way, we will have chance to enjoy the scenery around Tad Fan waterfall, which is spectacular with twin waterfalls plummeting into a deep gorge surrounded by flourishing vegetation. We will also see the cultivation of rich coffee, tea, cardamom, bananas, and other crops that are grown in the area.
Arriving in Champasak, visit Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer religious complex dating back to the 5th Century.


Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Wat Phou is a spectacular pre-Angkorian temple that sits amidst the rice fields and waterways of southern Laos.  The temple was constructed in three levels: the bottom level is focused on the baray (water reservoir) and promenade, the second level features quadrangular pavilions and galleries of carvings, and the top level is the sanctuary itself.  The temple was built during the rule of the Khmer empire before the construction of Angkor Wat. The temple served as the most important economic and political centre of the region and still is one of the Lao people’s most revered temples.
After your visit, we continue in to Champasak to see samples of French colonial architecture before driving to Done Khong where you have the rest of the day to relax or to explore the island.

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch

Guide: Available

Overnight: Done Khong Island   

 

DAY 10: EXPLORE 4000 ISLANDS - TRANSFER TO CHAMPASAK

Heading out of town we embark on a long tail boat for venturing into the widest reach of the Mekong River, where during the dry season the waters recede and leave behind thousands of islets, giving this area a lovely name” Si Phan Done”.

 

Upon arrival, explore the local peaceful villages of Ban Khone, where you will see an array of relics from the French colonial era and retrace the old colonial past, including old French colonial buildings and the remnants of the first Lao railway with its locomotive. We continue to discover the 4000 islands area by tuktuk and visit the marvelous Liphi waterfall, also called the “Corridor of the Devil” one of the most beautiful waterfalls marking Lao border with Cambodia. If we are lucky, we may even see the rare freshwater Irrawaddy Mekong dolphin at Ban Hang Khone.

 

We return to the mainland at the fishing village of Ban Nakasang and drive further south to visit Khone Phapheng. Khone Phapheng is considered the largest waterfall by volume in South East Asia; this is an impressive spot near the Lao-Cambodian border, set within an area which is teeming with wildlife, making this area one of the most breathtaking destinations in Laos. Afterwards we drive back to Champasak and spend the night at the lovely The River Resort

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch

Guide: Available

Overnight: Champasak  

 

DAY 11: PAKSE DEPARTURE (B)

You are free to relax by the pool of the hotel or stroll around the nearby villages. We transfer back to Pakse on time to take the departure flight finishing your “11 days Laos Impression”.

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