Essential Laos

A 6 Days/ 5 Nights representative tour visiting all the major cities and famous sites. This itinerary can be used as a starting point and altered or extended to suite your requirements.

Itinerary in Brief:
Day 1: Arrival in Vientiane
Day 2: Vientiane – Nam Ngum Lake – Vang Vieng
Day 3: Vang Vieng – Xieng Khoang
Day 4: Xieng Khoang
Day 5: Xieng Khuang – Luang Prabang
Day 6: Luang Prabang – Kuangsi – Luong Prabang
Day 7: Luong Prabang – Pak Ou – Luong Prabang
Day 8: Luang Prabang – Departure

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Itinerary in detail

DAY 1 : ARRIVAL VIENTIANE (L/D)

On arrival, meet our guide and transfer to hotel for checking in.  After lunch, visit Wat Sisaket,the oldest standing temple in Vientiane housing many important documents and treasures, including 6,840 Buddha images. Across the road, visit Ho Prakeo, home of the Emerald Buddha (Prakeo) and a museum with the most extensive collection of Buddhist artifacts in the country.  Next is the opportunity to photograph and/or climb to the top for a panoramic view of the city at Patuxay (Victory Gate). The monument was modeled after the Arc de Triumph in Paris yet retains its Laotian identity with traditional decorative motifs. Visit That Luang (The Great Sacred Stupa) said to contain relics of the Lord Buddha and is the country’s most cherished religious monument. The largest Buddhist festival of the year is held here on the 12th month of the Buddhist calendar. Dinner with show at local restaurant in town. Overnight at hotel in Vientiane.

DAY 2 : VIENTIANE – NAM NGUM LAKE – VANG VIENG (B/L/-)

Breakfast at the hotel.  08:00 Drive to Vang Xang archeological site. The name means Elephant Palace, a reference to an elephant graveyard found in the vicinity. The site, which consists of a cluster of 10 high-relief Buddha sculptures on cliffs, is usually assigned to an 11th century Mon provenance. Continue to the beautiful Dane Pha pink sandstone canyon, a holy site since the Mon times. Walk along the canyon to see the Buddha images carved on the cliffs. Visit the famous weaving village of Ban Phone Ngeun, whose inhabitants come from Samneua, and then a Hmong village at Km 52. Continue to Nam Ngum lake and take a boat trip (approx 2 hours) to explore the lush vegetation along the backwaters. Lunch at a local restaurant.

Travel by road to Vang Vieng, cross the Nam Song river, then enjoy a short trek through the breathtaking mountain landscape to visit the Tanjang cave . Relax and enjoy the superb view of limestone mountains and the Nam Song river . Dinner is on your own. Overnight at hotel in Vang Vieng.

DAY 3 : VANG VIENG – XIENG KHOANG (B/L/-)

Breakfast at the hotel.  Enjoy a leisurely morning in Vang Vieng before  continuing your road journey north to Xieng Khoang. The drive will take approximately 5 hours, including a stop for lunch in a local restaurant. This journey takes you through spectacular scenery and you might want to stop regularly for photos. Please be aware that there are numerous sharp bends and you will climb/descend a lot of mountains along the way. Arrive in Xieng Khoung and check in to your hotel. Free on your own.  Dinner is on your own. Overnight at hotel in Xieng Khoang.

DAY 4 : XIENG KHOANG (B/L/-)

Breakfast at the hotel.  08:00 Spend the day visiting the famous Plain of Jars, a vast area extending around Phonsavanh (Xieng Khuang) from the south-west to the north-east. Mysterious and ancient, over 300 huge stone jars apparently carved out of solid rock are scattered around the plateau. The jars vary in size from 1 to 3.25 meters high and weigh up to six tons each. There are several different theories as to the purpose of the jars, which are estimated to be 2,500 to 3,000 years old. According to local legend, King Khun Chuang had them constructed in order to store wine for the celebration of his conquest of the province in the 6th century. Today’s tour will focus on SITE I and SITE II, out of the many sites so far discovered. Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afterwards continue to Muang Khoun, an ancient capital and stronghold for the Xieng Khuang royal family which was destroyed during the Indochina war. The town was rebuilt after 1975 with rows of wooden Lao houses and a market area which is surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery. Visit Wat Phia That and That Foun. Dinner on your own. Overnight at hotel in Xieng Khuang.

DAY 5 : XIENG KHUANG – LUANG PRABANG (B/L/-)

Breakfast at hotel.  08:00 Visit this lively open-air local market. By vehicle from Xieng  Khuang  to  Luang  Prabang  with sightseeing at Muang Sui A, and slowly journey along mountain roads with stunning views of the forested mountains, lush valleys and karst formations. Stop at Muang Sui, visit Wat Ban Phong, the second oldest temple in the province; the scenic Nong Tang lake, rimmed with limestone cliffs; and the extensive cave network of Pha. Only discovered recently, this cave contains a 5m high Buddha image dating from 777 AD, surrounded by gold and wooden statues of smaller size. Lunch at a local restaurant. Dinner on your own. Overnight at hotel in Luang Prabang.

DAY 6 : LUANG PRABANG – KUANGSI – LUONG PRABANG (B/L/-)

In the early morning join local people for alms giving to 250 -300 local monks as part of the  original old culture. Otherwise, take a stroll through the morning market. Then head back to the hotel for breakfast.

Visit the major sites including the National museum and Wat Xieng Thong. Then you will drive out of town 30 km to the beautiful Kuangsi waterfall, where you can swim, relax and softly trek to the top of the fall. Lunch at a local restaurant. On your way back, you’ll have a short stop at a Black Hmong village, where hill tribe handicrafts are sold as souvenirs to passing visitors. Once back in town, you will have the rest of the day free to indulge in an afternoon tea or coffee at one of the many stylish cafes and bars as you people watch or plan some shopping. Dinner on your own, you will have various choices of local outdoor restaurants offering mouth- watering dishes. Overnight at hotel in Luang Prabang.

DAY 7 : LUANG PRABANG – PAK OU – LUONG PRABANG (B/L/-)

Breakfast at hotel.  08:00 Take a Mekong river boat trip to visit the famous and sacred Pak Ou caves, overlooking the confluence of the Mekong & Ou Rivers. The caves are home to many thousands of Buddha images that have been placed here by local people since the 16th Century. Lunch at a local restaurant. Next, you will return to Luang Prabang to visit the Por Sa paper handicraft and textile area at Ban Xang Khong. For the rest of the day you will have free timeto relax. Dinner on your own. Overnight at hotel in Luang Prabang. 

DAY 8 : LUANG PRABANG – DEPARTURE (B/-)

Beakfast at your hotel. Free on your own until transfer to the airport for the flight to the next destination.


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