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 at the capital, you will be met by our staff and transferred to your centrally located hotel. Vientiane is a charming and fascinating city, with an interesting mix of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, Soviet and American influences. 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
We board a short afternoon flight to Luang Prabang, which is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in South East 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 saffron clad monks. This tradition is unique to Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving this procession.
After breakfast, we enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong with its low sweeping rooves. We then board an upstream cruise on the Mekong River, which gives us a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside. We’ll make sure to stop at the Pak Ou Caves, sanctuaries consisting of two large caverns, both repositories for thousands of Buddha images. We will also stop at a few villages during the day, including Ban Xanghai where local rice wine is produced. In the afternoon we’ll visit the royal temple at Wat Longkhoun. Once back in Luang Prabang we’ll take a short drive to Ban Xang Khong and Ban Xieng Lek - small villages well known for silk weavings and Saa (jute) Papermaking. Overnight in Luang Prabang
Start your day with a visit to the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre where you are able to observe valuable artifacts and traditional clothing and implements from each of the 20 ethnic minority groups which inhabit the Luang Prabang area. Later in the morning we go to Phosi Market, which has an eclectic selection of foodstuffs and souvenirs. Afterwards, we head out to visit some ethnic minority villages and see how these colorful people live. We then drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfalls where you can swim in the turquoise pools or walk along forest paths. We continue to Ban Phanom, another well-known weaving village, and return to Luang Prabang by the late afternoon to observe the sunset at Wat Phabath. Overnight in Luang Prabang
The National Museum at the former Royal Palace displays a lovely collection of artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture. We also visit the morning market before catching our flight back to Vientiane. After checking into your hotel, we transfer out to Buddha Park, a scattered and enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures near the Friendship Bridge. There are approximately 200 religious images here dating back over 500 years. Observing the spectacular sunset view over the Mekong River is a perfect way to finish the day. Overnight in Vientiane
After breakfast, we will visit the city’s Market and the weaving village of Ban Nong Bouathong [if time permits]. The tour ends after your transfer to airport for departure. (B)
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.