One of Asia’s best-preserved cities, Luang Prabang has an abundance of Buddhist temples with astonishing architectures; you can really see how the temple structures vary in this majestic country as you also visit the national monuments in Vientiane capital. You will get a real feel for the nature as we pass through picturesque mountain sceneries and spend time absorbing the beautiful setting by the undeveloped Mekong River, Southeast Asia's lifeline.
Day 1: Arrival – Vientiane. On arrival in Vientiane Capital, you will be met and transferred to your centrally located hotel. After a short rest, we see the major sights of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket, the temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. On the way to Lao’s national precious heritage, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, we stop enroute to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. We watch the sunset by the Mekong Riverside and spend the evening here absorbing the city at night. Overnight in Vientiane. Includes: (B)
Day 2: Vientiane - Luang Prabang. Today, we transfer to the airport for a short flight to Luang Prabang, which is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast 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 shrine 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 have a beautiful view of the city and the Mekong River at sunset. From there, we explore the Night Market, where you can browse a lovely selection of handmade textile made by the local people and hill tribes surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang. Includes: (B)
Day 3: Luang Prabang - Pak Ou caves. After breakfast, we enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple of impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrines of Wat Aham, Wat Mai, Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its low sweeping roofs, representing classical Laotian architecture. We then board a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which gives us a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious of 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 our way back to the city, we take a short drive to Ban Phanom, a village well known for its crafts, pottery and hand weaving. Overnight in Luang Prabang. Includes: (B)
Day 4: Luang Prabang – Vientiane. 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 this procession. After breakfast we visit The National Museum (close Tuesday) at the former Royal Palace, displays a lovely collection of artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign. The National Museum and the Central Market is not to be missed. We visit these sights in the morning before catching our flight back to Vientiane. After checking into your hotel, we transfer out to see the Buddha Park, a scattered enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures on the Mekong Riverside meadow, near the Friendship Bridge. There are approximately 200 religious images dating back over 500 years, which were created by a mysterious monk spreading his philosophy on life and to reveal his ideas about the universe. A spectacular view of over the Mekong River at sunset is a perfect way to finish the day. Overnight in Vientiane. Includes: (B)
Day 5: Vientiane – Departure. After breakfast, we visit the Morning Market and the weaving village of Ban Nong Bouathong (if time permits). The tour ends after your transfer to Wattay airport for departure. Includes: (B)
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Asia Laos History Whiz Archeology/History Cultural Journey