Day 1: Arrival - Luang Prabang. Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Luang Prabang 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. We then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a beautiful sunset view of the city and 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 hilltribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang
Day 2: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Cave. After breakfast, we enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple of Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. We then board a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a panaromic 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 small village of Ban Xanghai, where the local rice wine is distilled. On our way back, we pass the local villages at Ban Xiengmene and Ban Chan continue to see the royal temple at Wat Longkhoun, which once belongs to royal family patronage and near by Sackarine Caves. We cross to city and take a short drive to Ban Phanom, well known for its hand weaving. Overnight in Luang Prabang. Includes: (B).
Day 3: Luang Prabang – Khouangsi Waterfalls. 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 crafts, and today you will visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, Hmong Village, Ban Ou, Laoloum Village and Ban Thapene, Khmu Village, then drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the turqoise pools or walk along the forest trails. After returning to Luang Prabang by late afternoon, we continue to Ban Xangkhong, a village well known for its silk weavings and for its Saa (jute) Papermaking. We return to the city by late evening to observe the sunset at Wat Siphouthabath. Overnight in Luang Prabang. Includes: (B).
Day 4: Luang Prabang – All Lao Services (Elephant ride + Soft Trekking). Elephant and soft hiking tour to Khamu village (Walking time total 3 hrs. (easy), in dry season Tad Sae waterfall is dry) After arriving at the All Lao Service, you will experience the protected Elephants at the “Elephant Park Project” along the Nam Khan riverbanks. You can enjoy the 1 hr. Elephant ride on the back of a protected Asian Elephant. A short and easy hiking tour will lead you out into the Fair Trek project area where villages profit directly from your visit. A small Khamu community lives below a high rising mountain range. Depending on the time available your Lao style Lunch will be served at Ban Houay Fai and return to Tad Sae waterfall, boat ride back to All Lao Service. Your car will bring you back to Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang. Includes: (B, L).
Day 5: Luang Prabang – Departure. After breakfast, we visit The National Museum (close Tuesday) at the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of the artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign, Also the Central Market is not to be missed. After visiting these sites, we transfer you to the airport for departure. Includes: (B).
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