The Hello Laos tour is a perfect introduction to the country, taking in the magical sights of Luang Prabang, Vientiane and Vang Vieng. Luang Prabang is a beautifully quiet town where the timeless slow paced atmosphere is like no other place in the world, nestled among high mountains above the Mekong River. With so many scenic, dreamy destinations, it is no wonder UNESCO preserves many destinations within this peaceful country.
Day 1: Arrival - Luang Prabang. On arrival at the airport you will be met and transfer to your hotel in Luang Prabang, The 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 a short rest, we visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham, Wat Mai. A visit to Luang Prabang would be incomplete without ascending 329 steps to the top of Phousi Hill for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa and to enjoy a beautiful sunset view of the city and its glowing reflection on the Mekong River. From there, we explore the Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by the local and hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 2: Lang Prabang - Pak Ou cave. Today, we enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city's oldest temple, Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong where you can see the impressive “tree of life” mosaic pattern set in coloured glass. Its exterior architecture is remarkable with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, representing classical Laotian architecture. We then embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a beautiful view of the tranquil countryside. We take an interesting visit to 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 Xang Hai, famous for the production of Lao rice wine. On return to Luang Prabang, we take a short drive to Ban Phanom, well known for its hand weaving. Overnight in Luang Prabang. Includes: (B)
Day 3: Luang Prabang - Vang Vieng. 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 are places of interest to many people and are not to be missed. Then we travel by roads to Vang Vieng. Our intrepid journey will be strenuous as we drive along one of the most scenic but also one of the roughest routes in Asia. In the afternoon we arrive in Vang Vieng, a small and tranquil town, which is nestled on a bend of the Nam Song River. Its stunning scenery with a mixture of quiet water and limestone outcrops remains unspoiled, despite recent developments with the advent of tourism. We will embark on a boat for a well-paced trip along the Nam Song River, exploring the breathtaking mountain landscape. Overnight in Vang Vieng. Includes: (B)
Day 4: Vang Vieng - Explore. The limestone cliffs and valleys surrounding the resort complex of Vang Vieng are home to numerous caves and caverns. The most famous of these caves is Tham Jang, which was used by the local people as a refuge from Chinese invaders 200 years ago. We visit the beautiful caves this morning before taking a walk to the Tai Deang and the Souay hill tribe villages. The hill tribe people are unfailingly friendly; welcoming you with waving hands and smiling faces. The remainder of the day is free for your own exploration of the town and relaxation. Over night in Vang Vieng. Includes: (B)
Day 5: Vang Vieng - Vientiane – Departure. Early morning, we drive out of town to the fabulous capital, Vientiane. Along the way we make a stop to visit Vang Xang, a famous archaeological site dating back 11th century. Vientiane is the charming and fascinating capital of Laos. This small town 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.
Also see tour packages in:
Asia Laos History Whiz Archeology/History Cultural Journey