Duration: 12 Days/11 Nights
Price from: $698
Explore Laos through its spotlights from Luang Prabang to Pakse. You explore the treasures of Laos by car with great flexibility while touring. You can wonder Laos jewels on your own space.
Day 1: Luang Prabang - Arrival
Day 2: Luang Prabang - Pak Ou caves - Mekong River Cruise
Day 3: Luang Prabang - Khouangsi Waterfall
Day 4 : Luang Prabang - Vang Vieng by car
Day 5 : Vang Vieng – Vientiane
Day 6: Vientiane
Day 7: Vientiane – Pakse - Tadlo
Day 8: Tadlo - Wat Phou - Donkhong
Day 9 : Khong Island - Surrounding (River+Road) – Pakse
Day 10: Pakse - Departure
Explore Laos beauty on the off-the-beaten trak journey. Come to experience local life of inhabitants like locals from Luang Prabang to Pakse by car.
Day 1 : Arrival - Luang Prabang (-/-/-)
Welcome to Luang Prabang, Laos !
On arrival at Luang Prabang Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Luang Prabang was the royal capital of the former Lane Xang Kingdom, with its gleaming temple roofs, colonial architecture and stunning mountain backdrop retains a unique charm rarely found in all Asia. Here is plenty to see, including the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun, the shrine of Wat Aham and Wat Mai with five tiered roofs. We include these sights in a half day guided tour, which ends with a climb to Phousi Hill to enjoy a beautiful sunset view of the city and its glowing reflection on the Mekong River. There are 329 steps leading us on zigzag way past various temples to the sacred, gilded stupa of Wat Phousi at the summit.
Back to the hotel for refreshment. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 2 : Luang Prabang - Pakou - Luang Prabang (B/L/-)
Today we continue our tour of Luang Prabang with the temple of Wat Xieng Thong, a magnificent piece of architecture, which nestles at the meeting of the Mekong and the Nam Khan River. The temple structures are decorated in various ways with gilded stuccoes as well as doorways and the main sim has a marvelous 'tree life' mosaic pattern on an outer wall.
Afterward, we embark on a boat for a leisurely trip on the Mekong River, stopping en route at Ban Xang Hai to see the production of rice alcohool and to sample the local rice wine. Upon leaving this village, we pass through stunning mountain landscape to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. These two linked caves are crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes, all brought there by devout villagers. After the river trip we drive towards Ban Phanom, a small village known for its hand weaving. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 3 : Luang Prabang - Khouangsi Waterfall (B/L/-)
The exploration of Luang Prabang would be not complete without a visit to the National Museum (closed Tuesdays) at the former Royal Palace. This interesting structure displays a lovely collection of treasures and artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign.
Heading out of town we drive southbound passing some verdant and rugged scenery on our way to visiting some hill tribe people at Ban Lao Soung and Ban Ou. Here we take a walk to the beautiful Khouang Si waterfalls, where water tumbles over multi tiered limestone formations into cool and crystal clear pools, ideal for anyone seeking an enjoyable escape when the heat becomes unbearable. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 4 : Luang Prabang - Vang Vieng by car (B/L/-)
After breakfast, we leave Luangprabang for our scenic drive to Vang Vieng, a small town, which is nestled on a bend of the Nam Song River. Its stunning scenery with its limestone outcrops remains unspoiled, despite recent developments with the advent of tourism. Depending on road and traffic conditions, we will arrive at Vang Vieng by mid or late afternoon. Overnight in Vang Vieng.
Day 5 : Vang Vieng – Vientiane by car (B/L/)
An impressive way to start our day is a walk around the bustling central market.
Heading out of town, we enjoy a short bamboo raft along the Namsong River, which gives us a taste of adventure. The limestone cliffs and valleys surrounding the resort complex of Vang Vieng are home to numerous caves and caverns. The most famous in Vang Vieng is the cave of Tham Jang, which was used in the early 19th century in defense against the Chinese invaders. We also cross the river to Ban Huai Ngai, a very pleasant village where we can explore the different local lifestyles.
We bid farewell to Vang Vieng and drive to Vientiane. Located on the banks of the Mekong River, this capital conjures up exotic images, with a curious mix of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French influences. Upon arrival, check in at hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Vientiane.
Day 6: Vientiane Discovery (B/L/-)
Today, we explore together the highlights of Vientiane capital:
We start the day with a visit to Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple standing in Vientiane. This amazing structure features remarkable frescoes and Buddha statues. The following sight is the former royal temple of Haw Pha Kaew, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. We also visit the imposing Patouxai Monument well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triomphe before continuing to the great sacred structure and symbol of Laos, That Luang Stupa.
We also head out of town 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 revealing his ideas about the universe. Admiring the spectacular view over the Mekong River at sunset from one of the riverside bars is a perfect way to finish the day. Overnight in Vientiane.
Day 7: Vientiane – Pakse - Tadlo by car (B/L/-)
After breakfast, transfer to Vientiane Airport flight to Pakse.
Upon arrival in Pakse, we drive to Tadlo. On our way we pass many lush plantations, hills, forests and villages. Part of our pleasure of travelling in this region is to observe the beautiful countryside and meet local people. We stop over at some of the nearby villages, home of the Kato hilltribe group. The hill tribe people are unfailingly friendly; welcoming you with waving hands and smilling faces. These ethnic minorities still retain their age and old cultural traditions and are recognisably distinct from each other by their dress.
We continue our journey through the Paksong and Boloven Plateau. The Boloven Plateau is known for its cooler temperature being located high above the Mekong Valley. Rivers run off this high plateau in all directions and then plunge out to lush forests along in a series of spectacular surging waterfalls. The scenery around Tad Fan waterfall is spectacular with twin waterfalls plummeting into a deep gorge surrounded by flourishing vegetation.
A trip to the plateau provides a refreshing break from the heat and allows you to see the cultivation of rich coffee, tea, cardamom, bananas, and other crops that are grown in the area. This trip gives visitors the chance to venture off-the-beaten track and to discover some of the less-known areas of Laos, exploring the wild beauty of this southern region. Overnight in Tadlo.
Day 8: Tadlo - Wat Phou - Donkhong (B/L/-)
The views of tumbling water and lush vegetation around the waterfalls are nothing short of spectacular. We leave this lovely destination and drive back to Pakse and enjoy a leisurely trip to the former royal capital of Champasak, our base for exploring the ruins of Wat Phu. One of Southeast Asia's most dramatically situated temples. We have time to explore these intriguing Khmer ruins, which are perched at the base of Mount Phu Kao. Wat Phu is one of the Lao World Heritage sites recognized by UNESCO in 2001, this wonderful archeological site of Khmer civilization dates back to the 9th century, predating the famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia. A festival of this site is held yearly during the full moon in February and attracts numerous pilgrims from all over southern Laos. We continue our journey by car to Don Khong, in the South Mekong river region known as the 4000 islands, one of the most scenic areas in Laos. Overnight in Don Khong Island.
Day 9 : Khong Island - Surrounding (River+Road) – Pakse (B/L/-)
Heading out of town, we embark on a long tail boat for venturing into the widest reach of the Mekong River, where during the dry season the waters recede and leave behind thousands of islets, giving this area a lovely name” Si Phan Done”. We explore the local peaceful villages of Ban Khone, where you will see an array of relics from the French colonial era and retrace the old colonial past, including old French colonial buildings and the remnants of the first Lao railway with it’s locomotive. We continue to discover the 4000 islands area by boat and visit the marvelous Liphi waterfall, also called the "Corridor of the Devil" one of the most beautiful waterfalls marking Lao border with Cambodia. If we are lucky, we may even see the rare freshwater Irrawaddy Mekong dolphin at Ban Hang Khone. Overnight in Pakse
Day 10: Pakse – Departure (B)
After breakfast, transfer to Pakse Airport for flight to Siem Reap. Tour ends.
Prices: from $789/ person.
Please contact our Tour Managers to book Explore Laos today.
This journey is especially designed to who love adventure, discovery, culture, wild life, scenic landcapes, meeting friendly hill tribe groups living across Laos. You will be amazed by the wild beauty of rural and mountainous regions whilst visiting ancient temples and pagodas along the way.
Please check with our Tour Managers to book Explore Laos journey today.
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