WHY SHOULD I GO TO LAOS ?
Over centuries the landlocked Lao people have been cultivating rice and growing organic vegetables. Laos is dominated by mountains, forests and subsistence agriculture. The rhythm of life is strongly tied to the changing seasons and the requirements of farming. Today Laos still relies on this farming and agriculture, their life style is still preserved. You can experience something of this lifestyle while you are in Laos with us.
On arrival at Luang Prabang International Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After you have had time to rest and freshen up we will head off on bicycles to see some of the highlights of Luang Prabang including a visit to the Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts from the Royal period in Luang Prabang. Cycling on, we are seeing the city’s oldest temples, the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roof sweeping low to the ground, representing classical Lao architecture, the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham.
Your evening to free to explore the town and night market or relax at the hotel. Overnight in Luang Prabang (B)
We start the day with a visit to the Big Brother Mouse shop in town to select some children’s books for our village visit today. We then head north by car along Route 13, before taking an unpaved road to Ban Khia Luang. Here you will have ample time to visit the school, play with the kids and watch them enjoy their new books. You will also see the village women at their weaving looms and visit the local temple.
For lunch we have a choice of a western picnic lunch or a traditional Lao meal of sticky rice, laap and fresh vegetables cooked by the villagers.
Saying goodbye to the village we drive to Ban Khoklin, taking us through some beautiful mountain scenery and paddy fields. At Ban Khoklin we board a private boat down the Nam Ou River for 30 minutes to Pak Ou Caves. These caves are an ancient pilgrimage site and contain thousands of gold lacquered Buddha images left there over hundreds of years.
Continuing down the Mekong River we will arrive back to Luang Prabang by late afternoon. Overnight in Luang Prabang (B, L)
Note : This above program is good for school holidays from September – May
After breakfast back at the hotel we begin our journey to Kuang Sii Waterfall stopping along the way to visit the morning Phousi Market, this where all the locals of Luang Prabang come to do their daily shopping. You will see a variety of local foodstuffs and products including dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, fish, vegetables and fruit, everything needed for daily life in Laos.
On arrival at the Kuang Sii Falls you will have the opportunity to cool off with a refreshing swim in the topaz pools below the falls, walk along the forest trails and visit the Bear Sanctuary.
Returning to Luang Prabang your afternoon is free to explore or relax at the hotel. Overnight in Luang Prabang (B)
Today we depart early for a drive through spectacular scenery to Xiengkhouang Province, the home of the Plain of Jars. There are many stunning photo opportunities along the way and a couple of stops to explore hill tribe villages. After check in at your hotel in Phonsavan there will be time to go for a wonder through town, visit the MAG Centre or chill out over a drink at the hotel. Overnight in Xiengkhouang (B)
This morning we head out to explore the Plain of Jars. We will be visiting Sites 1, 2 & 3 as well as taking a short trek to a Tai Dam and Lao Leum village along the way.
Following lunch we drive on to explore the old capital of Muang Khoun and the nearby villages, home to the Hmong hill tribe and Tai Dam people. Overnight in Xiengkhouang (B)
On our way out of town this morning we have time to visit the interesting Phonsavan Central Market and then drive on to Vang Vieng arriving there midafternoon.
After check in at your hotel you can explore the town or relax at the hotel and enjoy the stunning views as the sun sets behind the limestone kryst mountains across the river. Overnight in Vang Vieng (B)
Beginning our morning tour of Vang Vieng, we explore the famous caves of Tham Jang, which was once used by the local people as a hideout from Chinese invaders. We then cross the river to Ban Huai Ngai, where we can wonder through the village and observe the locals going about daily life.
At the Organic Farm you will have the opportunity to visit the goats, pigs and other wildlife, observe mud brick making and sample roasted goat cheese and mulberry wine. Follow lunch here we head south to Vientiane, where we will arrive before sunset. Overnight in Vientiane (B, L)
This morning’s city tour enables you to see the major temples of Vientiane including the oldest, Wat Sisaket, with its thousands of miniature Buddha statues, and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. We also visit the national icon of Laos, That Luang Stupa, stopping along the way to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph.
The afternoon is free for you to explore the city, go shopping, take a stroll along the waterfront or relax at the hotel. Overnight in Vientiane (B)
We depart early this morning to head to the airport for our flight to Pakse. On arrival in Pakse, we drive south to Champassak and to visit the fascinating pre-Angkorian ruins of Wat Phu, one of Southeast Asia’s most dramatically situated temples. We have time to explore these intriguing Khmer ruins, which are perched at the base of Mount Phu Kao.
Following lunch, we continue our journey by road and long tail boat to Khone Island in the 4000 Islands area, where you have the rest of the day to relax. Overnight in Khone Island (B)
After an early morning breakfast, we explore Khone Island. Here we begin by re-tracing the French colonial-past at Ban Khone, where some old colonial houses still stand and you glimpse the first Lao railway with its own locomotive.
We continue our exploration of the area of the 4000 islands by boat and visit the beautiful Liphi waterfall, also known as the Samphamith, which forms a natural border between Lao and Cambodia.
We return to Ban Nakasang and drive to the famous waterfall of Khone Phapeng – the largest waterfall in South East Asia, also known as the ‘Niagara of the East’. Overnight in Khone Island (B)
This morning we leave Khone Island and head for the refreshing mountain climate on the Bolevan Plateau. The area is famous for its many waterfalls and we will visit two of the best, Tad Fan, with its impressive twin falls cascading over 100 meters to the valley floor below and Tad Ngeuan, with its pristine pools for taking a refreshing dip and coffee shop and plantation where you can sample some real Lao coffee.
Along the way you will see the rich soils of the region being cultivated for coffee, tea, cardamom, bananas, and other crops before our return to Pakse late afternoon. Overnight in Pakse (B)
After breakfast you will be transferred to Pakse Airport for your flight to Siem Reap. (B)
|Prices above are based on below local standard hotels and room types|
|Luang Prabang||Villa Banlao (Standard)||Le sen Hotel (Deluxe)||Juliana Hotel (Deluxe)||Xiengthong Palace (Superior)|
|Xieng Khouang||Vansana Hotel (Standard)||Vansana Hotel (Deluxe)||Vansana Hotel (Deluxe)||Vansana Hotel (Deluxe)|
|Vang Vieng||Ban Sabai (Standard)||Elephant Crossing (Standard)||Silver Naga (Deluxe)||Riverside (Deluxe)|
|Vientiane||Avalon Hotel (Standard)||Chanthapanya (Superior)||Lao Plaza (Regular Floor)||Dhavara (Deluxe)|
|4000 Islands||Pon Arena (Mountain View)||Pon Arena (Mekong River View)||Pon Arena (Mekong Suite)||Pon Arena (Mekong Suite)|
|Pakse||Athena Hotel (Standard)||Athena Hotel (Standard)||Athena Hotel (Deluxe)||Athena Hotel (Deluxe)|