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Pay a visit to many historical sites as the Royal Palace Museum and Huan Chuan Heritage House, get enchanted by the view of Wat Xiengthong and Wat Khili, and immers yourself in the culture of Laos by visiting a various range of local villages. Board a longtail boat, hike along waterfalls and cruise up the Nam Ou River while exploring Laos. Get mesmerized by the terraced rice field and small villages along the banks of the river and experience the way of working of local farmers. Learn the traditional way of cooking, visit a local market to learn more about the ingredients used and receive a recipe book to take home. You will explore Vientiane’s night life by tuk tuk where you will have a stroll through the night market where few tourists can be spotted.
Upon arrival in Luang Prabang, you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in. The rest of the day is free at your own leisure.
After breakfast, you will visit the quaint Royal Palace Museum that provides a fine overview of the culture and history of this ancient city. You will follow the quiet back lanes to the beautiful historical Huan Chuan Heritage House, taking in its historical items and architectural charms while learning about the connection it has with the Royal Palace. After a refreshing Iced Tea in the gardens, the walk will continue up the peninsula to the country’s most historic and enchanting temple, Wat Xiengthong. With its roof that sweeps low towards the ground, this temple's architecture best represents the classical Luang Prabang style. You will wander the temple grounds before crossing the road to Wat Khili where this temple’s charming traditional library building houses an historic photo exhibition of Buddhist heritage.
In the early afternoon, you will first visit the excellent ‘Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre’, which gives a great insight into the rich and diverse ethnic and cultural blend of Laos. Then transfer out of town and visit the weaving and textile villages of Ban Xangkhong and Ban Xienglek. Back in town, you will continue to Wat Visoun, known as ‘The Water Melon Stupa’ due to its shape.
There are 3 options for the final stop of the day;
- Transfer to Mt Phousi for a climb up the sacred hill that offers spectacular sunset vista and a panoramic view over Luang Prabang and across the Mekong River.
- If you prefer to beat the steps (or the crowds on busy days) transfer to Wat Prabath Tai for a more accessible sunset experience.
- If you prefer to witness the evening Monk Chants, visit Wat Aham, where monks and novices come together in the colourful prayer hall for their daily rituals. Greet the eager novices returning from monk school and take in the meditative chants.
This morning, you will leave Luang Prabang and head north by private vehicle to Nong Khiaw. The morning drive brings you out into the rolling countryside where you can admire the beauty of the Nam Ou River and the surrounding rice paddy fields. Along the way there is a stop to visit 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.
You will arrive in Nong Khiaw by lunchtime. Upon checking into your hotel, you have the option of taking a short bicycle ride (hired from the resort) or an easy trek to the picturesque local limestone caves nearby – your guide will be happy to assist.
After breakfast, you will board a boat and cruise in approx. 45 minutes to the Khmu village of Ban Don Khoune. After a short exploration of the village, you begin with the unique trek, climbing up hill for about 3 hours passing by a number of cascades.
The summit will be reached at lunchtime, where you can enjoy what must be one of the best views in Laos. Here, you also enjoy a delicious Lao style picnic lunch, served on banana leaves, before hiking back to Ban Don Khoune. Upon arrival, you will board a longtail boat taking you back to Nong Khiaw.
After breakfast, transfer to the riverside and board a local private boat for an unforgettable cruise up the Nam Ou River to Muang Kua. This particular stretch offers stunning lime-stone scenery and remote villages; including Ban Sob Jaem where the villagers produce traditional Lao skirts and which can only be reached by boat.
After around 2 hours we disembark and board a tuk-tuk for a short trip to pass the new Nam Ou Dam, before boarding a second boat for the 2½ hour upstream part of the boat journey. Enjoy a tasty picnic lunch on the way, before reaching Muang Kua by mid-afternoon. From here, you will drive in 1,5 hours to Muang La. The rest of the day is at leisure at your peaceful resort.
You set off in the morning in the direction of Pak Khai; this pleasant journey gives you wonderful views across the River Nam Pak, terraced rice fields and the small villages along the banks of the river. On your arrival, you start your trek along a mountain trail which follows a mountain stream meandering through the lush vegetation. You have the chance to meet the local farmers working in their rice fields and learn how they cultivate their lands, hunt for small game and fish in the mountain stream, before you enter into the tropical rainforest.
After around 1½ hours, you leave the forest and arrive in the village of Ban Phavie; a beautiful Khamu village which sits on the top of a hill. After taking your lunch in the village, you continue to some nearby waterfalls. You can relax in the cooling clear waters, lulled by the gentle breeze and tranquility of the falls (weather permitting). At around 14:30, you head back to The Lodge and arrive in the late afternoon.
Level of difficulty: 3/5 – Walking shoes and sun-hat are recommended. During wet weather, there is a risk of leeches being present in the foliage.
An early departure for your drive to Luang Prabang. This route is particularly good for its mountain views and remote Hmong villages, including Ban Xong Ja. Following a lunch stop in Pakmong, the afternoon drive brings you down into rolling countryside where you can admire the beauty of the Nam Ou River and the surrounding rice paddy fields. You will arrive in Luang Prabang by late afternoon where you have the rest of the day at leisure.
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. You can also visit the local fresh market to see how the locals shop, before returning to your hotel for breakfast.
This morning you will be transferred to Tammarind Restaurant for your cooking class. Visit the local market with the chef, who will teach you about the ingredients used in the dishes you will prepare. Return back to the restaurant and begin your class, located in its beautiful pond side garden, under the expert tuition of your chef. Lunch will be your own efforts, and a recipe book will be available to take home.
Enjoy the morning at leisure.
In the afternoon, visit Ock Pop Tock, a silk weaving centre. Here you will be given a guided tour and the silk weaving process will be explained. You will 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 you 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. Then return to Luang Prabang by early evening.
After breakfast, you will leave Luang Prabang and fly out to Vientiane where you will meet your guide and driver upon arrival and be transferred to your hotel where you will have the rest of the day at your own leisure.
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. Continue travelling 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. This will be followed by going onwards down Rue Singha 23 to Laos’ National icon, and most important religious building, the golden stupa of That Luang.
The final visit 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 ordnance as a result of heavy bombing campaigns during the Vietnam War area. Afterwards, you will return to your hotel.
At 06PM you will go out to explore the city at nighttime. Travelling by tuk tuk, you will head to the food-night-market near That Luang. At night it comes alive and is a firm favourite amongst locals with few tourists to be seen. Wonder over the market and learn from your guide about the different dishes and the local dinner culture. Try some of the tasty dishes on the spot or bring them with you to our next stop; a traditional Laos style BBQ or Sindat. A favourite night spot for the locals, which few tourists ever visit. The guide will introduce you with his favorite dishes. After dinner you will return by tuk tuk back to your hotel.
After breakfast at your hotel, you will drive to visit the quirky yet impressive Buddha Park, an enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures on the banks of the Mekong River. By no means historic – Buddha Park was built in the 1950’s by a self styled ‘holy man’ – the park features some very photogenic and unusual sculptures, including a huge reclining Buddha, and a giant pumpkin. Upon returning to Vientiane there is an optional stop at the Lao Disabled Womens Centre, which provides valuable training and schooling for disabled women in Laos. The women here are friendly, and it’s interesting to have a chat with them to find out about their lives. The rest of the day is free at leisure.
In the afternoon visit the weaving home-studio of Mrs Carol Cassidy, an American textiles expert who arrived in Vientiane in 1989 as part of a United Nations project to promote traditional weaving. Carol was so impressed by the quality and diversity of weaving throughout Laos that she set up the Lao Textiles Studio in Vientiane. Today the studio employs over forty local weavers who create naturally dyed and woven silk pieces reflecting traditional Lao designs. Learn about the weaving techniques or make a purchase at the gift shop to help support the cause.
After breakfast transfer to the Airport for your flight to Pakse.
Upon arrival you will be met by your driver and guide after which you will head east onto the Bolaven Plateau. The Bolaven Plateau is known for its cooler temperature being located high above the Mekong Valley. Transfer directly to Paksong where you will meet the specialist coffee and ethnic minority expert guide for the day. Then board an exciting, vintage jeep, which is the ideal vehicle for the terrain that will be covered next. Set off on a trail cutting right through the plateau, visiting first the coffee plantation of your guide and enjoy a walking tour of the plantation where the coffee growing process from seed to cup is explained.
Lunch is enjoyed at the plantation, before setting off on the trail in the jeep on a route rarely, if ever visited by foreigners. Along the way, there will be various stops to visit a number of interesting ethnic minority villages, including one from the Souy minority. Follow the trails all the way to the beautiful Tad Lo Waterfall. Cool down in the refreshing water before boarding the minivan and continue by road to Champasak.
After an early morning breakfast, you will cross over the Mekong River to another mainland and drive south to Ban Hatsaikhone, where you board a local private boat for a boat tour of the 4000 Islands. You will reach the picturesque island of Don Khone by lunchtime, and in the afternoon explore the island by bicycle, tracing the route of an old abandoned railway and admiring some of the old French Colonial buildings, and the beautiful Liphi Waterfall. Then return to the boat and head back to the mainland, visiting the spectacular Khone Phapheng Falls, one of the largest and most powerful waterfalls in Southeast Asia. In the late afternoon you drive back to Champasak, arriving there by early evening.
Following breakfast, you drive to visit Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer religious complex dating back to the 5th Century. This dramatically sited temple is one of the highlights of any trip to Laos.
Then explore the historical town of Champasak and surrounding small villages located on the west bank of the Mekong. Starting with a stroll along the main road, learn from your guide about the rich history of this World Heritage Listed town. Observe the traditional architecture of The Royal House, traditional wooden structures as well as the colonial buildings inspired by the French. Stop in at the potter's workshop along the way to observe traditional skills applied in a contemporary way. Next, there will be a stop at the Sisumang Buddha, a huge sitting image of the Buddha located on the remains of a Pre-Angkorian temple. At the temple of Vat Pa Non, you continue your journey along the Mekong River. Follow the quiet shaded path along the river and stop at some Ancient and Modern temples and an old French-colonial era Catholic Church on the way. Meet friendly local villagers and observe how they make traditional rice baskets and fish traps from bamboo. At the temple of Vat Kuang Kang, meet our vehicle for a short transfer back to the hotel, arriving back in afternoon.
Depending on your departure flight, you may have free time at leisure, before being transferred to Pakse airport for your flight.
All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.
|Standard:||from AU $4,732|
|Superior:||from AU $5,584|
|Deluxe:||from AU $5,911|
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Hotels each night of the itinerary (excluding your departure day). All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us.
(*) It is recommended for travellers to our destinations to have a travel insurance covering also the cost of a medical evacuation flight. A travel insurance is best purchased in your country of origin/residence and cannot be purchased on arrival.
Availability of accommodation and season.