Vientiane capital is unlike any other capital city in Southeast Asia, it exerts a sleepy vibe and there is always a light flow of traffic, even during rush hour! You will fall in love with the colonial architecture and the traditional temple structures of charming Luang Prabang. The people here have an interesting culture, they are naturally friendly and sociable wanting to know as much about your life as much as you do about theirs.
Day 1: Arrival – Vientiane. On arrival at Wattay Airport, you will be met and transferred to your centrally located hotel. Vientiane is a charming and fascinating capital, with an interesting mix of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, Soviet and American influences. A city tour acquaints us with the capital and after a short rest, we start visiting the major sights; 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. Enroute to Lao’s national precious heritage, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, you will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. Overnight in Vientiane.
Day 2: Vientiane – Vang Vieng. We leave this wonderful town after breakfast for our journey northbound on route no. 13. We will see some breathtaking scenery enroute as we pass through spectacular countryside towards the mountainous region. We make a stop along the way at Vang Xang, a famous archaeological site dating back to the 11th century. We reach our final destination in the afternoon, the small and tranquil village of Vang Vieng, 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. On arrival at Vang Vieng, we cross the Nam Song River to Tham Jang caves and then enjoy a short trek through breathtaking mountain landscape to explore the Tam None Cave and some hill villages. Today ends with a superb panorama of the sunset reflecting over the Nam Song River. Overnight in Vang Vieng. Includes: (B)
Day 3: Vang Vieng – Tham Phoutham. After breakfast, we start our board on a local tractor through paddy field areas heading to Tham Phoukham caves, where your breath will be taken away seeing the most beautiful and famous limestone cavern, surrounded by natural forests. Along the way, you have chance to explore the local cultures by greeting the local villagers and learning about their daily lifestyle. There is a small natural pool in front of the caves where you can take a swim to refresh yourself from the hot climate or you could explore the nearby area. You will have a picnic lunch enjoying the scenery. After spending the day at the caves and its surrounding areas, we make our return to the Vang Vieng town, using local transportation or tractor. En route, we visit the ethnic minority villages of Hmong, Souay and Taidam villages meeting the warm and friendly hill tribe people and observing their traditional tribal costumes. Overnight in Vang Vieng. Includes: (B)
Day 4: Vang Vieng - Lung Prabang. We have an early start for our expedition up route 13 north to Luang Prabang, Luang Prabang that is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. The roads are well paved along the way for a smooth journey; we pass some stunning landscape scenery with a mixture of steep terraced fields and hill villages, we take a few photo stops at some small hill tribe village enroute. Each hill tribe village in Laos has a different feel, some are more prosperous than others but all have plenty of life. The Muang Xieng Nguen village is our next stop and we spend a short amount of time observing the local lifestyle prior to reaching Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang. Includes: (B)
Day 5: Luang Prabang - Pakou - Luang Prabang. 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, a small village well known for its hand weaving. Overnight in Luang Prabang. Includes: (B)
Day 6: Luang Prabang - Departure. The National Museum (close Tuesday) at the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of the artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign, and the Central Market is not to be missed on this morning sightseeing tour. We bid farewell to this remarkable city and the trip ends after your transfer to the airport for departure. Includes: (B)
Also see tour packages in:
Asia Laos History Whiz Archeology/History Cultural Journey