Laos is a Southeast Asian country traversed by the Mekong River and known for its mountainous terrain, French colonial architecture, hill tribe settlements and Buddhist monasteries. Vientiane, the laid-back capital, is the site of That Luang, a reliquary reportedly housing the Buddha’s breastbone, plus the Patuxai war memorial and Talat Sao (Morning Market), a shopping complex jammed with food, clothes and craft stalls.
On arrival in Vientiane, you will be met by our staff and transferred to our centrally located hotel. Vientiane is a fascinating city, with a fusion of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, Soviet and American influences. This charming and easygoing city exudes a timeless atmosphere, providing you with a smooth introduction to Laos. After a short rest, we see the major sights of the capital; including Wat Sisaket, which contains more than 8000 Buddha statues, Wat Ho Prakeo the former home of the Emerald Buddha statue and That Luang Stupa, the single most important monument in Laos. We also see the Patuxay (Lao Arc de Triomphe), which was built in commemoration of those who died during past wars. Today it is the city’s main landmark. Overnight in Vientiane.
Today, we transfer to the airport for a short flight to Luang Prabang, which is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. The tranquility and charm of this town with its splendid natural scenery and cultural sights make it one of the most delightful places to visit in Laos. After checking into your hotel, we visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrines of Wat Aham and Wat Mai. We then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi to explore the sacred, gilded stupa as well as capture a beautiful view of the city and the Mekong River at sunset. From there, we visit the Night Market, where you can browse through a lovely selection of handmade textiles. Overnight in Luang Prabang
In the afternoon take a boat ride to see KimBong Carpentry and Thanh Ha Potery Village, followed by a city tour of Hoian to Museum of History, Fukien Assembly Hall, Japanese Bridge, Old house. Dinner. Free at leisure. O/n in Hoian.
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning alms giving ritual to the city’s monks. This tradition is unique to Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving this procession. After we’ll visit the former Royal Palace, now a National Museum where you will find ornate, gilded and brocaded reception rooms, as well the Prabang, a large holy image, which was given to King Fa Ngum in the 14th century by the Khmers. Later in the day we drive to see the Ban Hmong hill tribe in Ban Nam Ouay, as well as a number of other special villages. We then spend the remainder of the day at the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfalls, where water tumbles 60 meters over multi tiered limestone formations into a cool and clear pool. It’s a refreshing escape from the heat! Overnight in Luang Prabang .
Heading out of the town, we board a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which gives a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside. Along the way we stop at the Pak Ou Caves, sanctuaries consisting of two large caverns, both repositories for thousands of Buddha images. During the day, we will also visit a few local villages, including one that makes rice wine and the atmospheric riverside town of Pakbeng. The Mekong was once the only major transport route in the country, and Pakbeng, was the halfway point between Luang Prabang and HoueiSay. It developed into an overnight stop for many traders. This scenic and authentic river cruise has been described as a once in a lifetime experience. Over night in Pakbeng
After breakfast, we visit the local market where many hill tribes converge from the outlying valleys and hillsides to sell their goods and buy provisions. Upon leaving Pakbeng, we re-embark on our boat for the second leg of our journey toward HoueiSay, which is close to the famous Golden Triangle. The cruise may take long, but the tranquil river scenery makes the journey worthwhile. Overnight in HoueiSay.
The surrounding areas of HoueiSay are home to 34 ethnic minority groups, making it the second most ethnically diverse province in Laos. After an enjoyable visit with the Lu hill tribe people at Ban Namkeung, we take a short drive to the border gate for Chiang Khong, Thailand. The tour ends at the Lao-Thai border.
Important Notice: Please note that the rates are subject to change based on any increase / decrease of the taxes imposed by the government at the time of the booking. Also the confirmation of the rooms will be subject to availability at the time of the booking.