You will have time to observe and partake in the giving of food items to saffron-clad monks as they stroll along the streets during their daily alms collection at dawn as well as pick up an assortment of textiles and handicrafts in the bustling hill tribe night market. A flight south will take you to Vientiane, the capital city of Laos, located along the Mekong River, the city remaining the colonial charms of yesteryears.
Day 1: Arrival in Luang Prabang. On arrival, you will be welcomed by your tour guide and taken to La Residence Phou Vao. An orientation tour around this picturesque town will give you the opportunity to chat with monks at a local temple. At sunset, ascend the 328 steps to the top of Phou Si Mountain that offers a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding rivers and cityscape. In the evening, wander through the bustling Night Market where ethnic hill tribe minorities peddle their wares of traditional costumes and handicrafts. Overnight at La Residence Phou Vao, Laos. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 2: Luang Prabang. Rise early at dawn to experience life as a local by watching monks in saffron robes going on their alms collection before visiting the local fresh market. Soak in the history of Luang Prabang at the Royal Palace, now the National Museum, Wat Visoun with its iconic Watermelon Stupa and Wat Aham. Watch the adept skills of weavers as they demonstrate the significance of silk weaving in Lao culture at the Ock Pop Tok gallery where you will be inspired to design your own scarf. In the late afternoon, you can try your hand at whipping up Laotian specialties amidst the splendid ambience of La Residence Phou Vao. Overnight at La Residence Phou Vao, Laos. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Luang Prabang. Today, we will take you to the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers to visit Wat Xieng Thong. Gently cruise down Mekong River to admire the startling collection of gold-lacquered Buddha statues of all shapes and sizes nestled deep in the massive limestone caverns of the Pak Ou Caves. You will also see the production of traditional Lao textiles and Sa paper by local artisans. In the evening, enjoy a refreshing dinner at local eateries recommended by your guide. Overnight at La Residence Phou Vao, Laos. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Luang Prabang-Vientiane. Today, you will fly to Vientiane and drive along the Mekong River and the city's main boulevards to Patuxai, Vientiane's version of "Arc de Triomphe" Lend a helping hand to street children and their families by lunching at the vocational Mak Phet restaurant that serves authentic and delicious Lao cuisine prepared by the instructors and students. Witness the transformation of natural and recycled materials into quality handicrafts by disadvantaged artists at Les Artisans Lao. Enjoy an enchanting stroll by the lazy Mekong River before dining at Le Nadao restaurant renowned for its French and Lao fusion dishes. Overnight at Settha Palace in Vientiane. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Vientiane. In the morning, you will take a tour of That Luang, the cultural symbol of Laos with its magnificent golden stupa before ascending the steps up to Patuxai, Vientiane's own Arc de Triomphe for a spectacular view over a city that has almost no high-rise buildings. The cultural tour will lead you on to Vat Sisaket with hundreds of Buddha statues nestled in the temple walls and Vat Ho Phra Keo, the temple that once housed the sacred "Emerald Buddha". Indulge in gastronomic delights at "Le Central" restaurant renowned for its French-styled bistro before pampering yourself with some shopping and spa treatment. Observe the unique Baci Ceremony, an eclectic mix of Animist and Buddhist beliefs followed by authentic Lao cuisine in the home of your evening hosts. Overnight at Settha Palace in Vientiane. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: Departure from Vientiane. After breakfast, you will transfer to the airport for onwards departure flight. Includes: (B).
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