Day 1: Luang Prabang arrival (Meals: D)
Pick upon arrival at the airport, transfer to the hotel. Welcome dinner and overnight in the hotel.
Day 2: Luang Prabang (Meals: B, L)
Today, you will first visit the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. We then embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside, before reaching the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. Along the way, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where they make the local rice wine.
On arrival back in the city, we also have time to visit the Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts; before ascending the 329 steps to the top of Phousi Hill for a beautiful sunset view of the city and its glowing reflection on the Mekong River. The tour ends after a visit to the famous Night Market, where you can find a lovely collection of handmade textiles made by local and hill-tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang
Day 3: Kuang Si Waterfall (Meals: B, L)
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. From there you will visit the morning Phosi Market where you will see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings. Laos is also known for its traditional handicrafts, and today you will visit the local village of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay and Ban Thapene. We then drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you can splash around in the turquoise pools or walk along the forest paths. On the way coming back to Luang Prabang, we stop to visit the Kuang Si Falls Butterfly Park, one of the must-visit spots, newly opened in January 2014. Arriving in Luang Prabang, we transfer to Wat Siphouthabath to admire the sunset. Overnight in Luang Prabang
Day 4: Luang Prabang – Xieng Khouang (Meals: B, L)
After breakfast, we make our way over the mountains to Xieng Khuang, the province which is best-known for having been heavily bombed during the Indochina War. But of course, it is also famous for its historic Plain of Jars. The journey takes about 8 hours and we can make some stops at villages to observe the rural life of local people, including ethnic minorities such as the Hmong people. Arrival in Phonsavanh, the capital of Xiengkhouang province and check into your hotel. Overnight at a hotel in town!
Day 5: Xieng Khouang (Meals: B, L)
After breakfast at the hotel, we drive over the plains to visit the Plain of Jars site 1 and continue to drive to the Plain of Jars 2. Here we have time to find out more about the still unclear history. The archaeological stone Jars, which dated back to about 2000 years ago. In the afternoon, we drive about 1 hour to visit Muang Khoun, the old capital of Xieng Khuang where we will see some ruins left over from the war. Overnight at the hotel in town
Day 6: Xieng Khouang – Vang Vieng (Meals: B)
After breakfast, we leave Xieng Khuang for our scenic drive to Vang Vieng, a small town, which is nestled on a bend of the Nam Song River. Its stunning scenery with its limestone outcrops remains unspoiled, despite recent developments with the advent of tourism. Depending on road and traffic conditions, we will arrive at Vang Vieng by mid or late afternoon. Overnight in Vang Vieng
Day 7: Vang Vieng (Meals: B)
Breakfast, free on your leisure. You could go inner-tubing in the river, kayaking, caving or just relaxing. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 8: Vang Vieng – Vientiane (Meals: B, L)
Early morning, we drive out of town to the capital, Vientiane. Along the way, we make a stop to visit Vang Xang, a famous archeological site dating back to the 11th century. Vientiane is the charming and fascinating capital of Laos. This city conjures up exotic images, with the curious mix of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French influences. This afternoon we explore the town; with Wat Sisaket which is the oldest temple still standing in Vientiane. This amazing structure features remarkable frescoes and Buddha images. We continue sightseeing by visiting Haw Prakeo, the former royal temple of Laos monarchy, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Statue. We then visit the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph before continuing to the famous That Luang Stupa. Overnight in Vientiane
Day 9: Vientiane – Pakse – Boloven Plateau – Pakse (Meals: B, L)
Today, we take the morning flight to the south of Laos. On arrival at Pakse Airport, we make an excursion to Tadlo via the plateau of Boloven, where tea and coffee plantations produce the famous Lao coffee. You will have the chance to observe the traditional coffee and tea makers. En route, we visit the ethnic villages of Ban Tateng to experience the traditional lifestyles of the Alack, Katu and Nge tribes. We continue to visit the charming village of Tadlo where you can enjoy swimming in the pool of the Tadlo waterfall. We then transfer back to Pakse. Overnight in Pakse
Day 10: Pakse – 4000 Islands (Meals: B, L)
After breakfast, 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 car to Done Khong where you have the rest of the day to relax or to explore the island. Overnight in Done Khong Island
Day 11: 4000 Islands (Meals: B, L)
In the morning, we will drive further south to visit Khone Phapheng, which is considered the largest waterfall by volume in South East Asia. We then return to Ban Nakasang and take a small motorboat to Done Khone. From here we explore the local peaceful villages of Ban Khone, where you will see an array of relics from the French colonial era and retrace the old colonial past, including old French colonial buildings and the remnants of the first Lao railway with its locomotive. We continue to discover the 4000 islands area by Tuk Tuk and visit the marvelous Liphi waterfall, also called the “Corridor of the Devil” one of the most beautiful waterfalls marking Lao border with Cambodia. If we are lucky, we may even see the rare freshwater Irrawaddy Mekong dolphin at Ban Hang Khone. Overnight in Done Khone Island
Day 12: 4000 Islands – Pakse (Meals: B)
Breakfast, transfer to Pakse airport for your departure flight.
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