These itineraries give you a starting point for what your trip to Laos could entail. They cover routes we've found work particularly well and feature some of our favourite places to stay. Treat them as inspiration, as each trip is created uniquely for you.
Price Per Person From:USD 1780
Please treat all prices as a guide only. The price provided is a per person based on two people sharing a room.When The Prices Are Influenced?
Optional activities, tailor-made experiences shall be added on the itinerary upon request.
The Luang Say boat leaves the pier at 9 a.m. for a cruise down the Mekong River to Luang Say Lodge in Pakbeng. One stop is made en route to Pakbeng to observe rural life along the Mekong River at Ban Houy Phalam; a Kamu village. A buffet lunch will be served on board. The boat arrives at Luang Say Lodge before sunset for an overnight stay. Dinner is served on the terrace overlooking the Mekong River.
Enjoy a continental breakfast on the terrace, after which you begin the cruise. Your first stop is at Ban Baw to observe the making of the traditional rice alcohol. A buffet lunch is served on board. The boat stops again opposite the mouth of the Nam Ou River to visit Pak Ou caves. There are two caves, 'Tham Ting' and 'Tham Phoum,' that house thousands of Buddha images. The boat arrives in Luang Prabang - a UNESCO world heritage city before sunset. Meet and greet by our local representative and transferred to hotel. Checking into your accommodation and relax.
Start the day by attending the incredible Tak Bat ceremony in Luang Prabang. Taking place every morning at dawn, the ceremony consists of hundreds of saffron-clad monks silently walking through the streets to collect alms (offerings of food). Afterwards, visit the colourful Morning Market where locals buy and sell produce.
After breakfast, explore the National Museum, which is the former residence of the now deposed royal family, and is full of fine examples of Laotian art and furniture. You will then visit Wat Mai – an exquisite temple that was spared by the Chinese Black Haws in the late 19th century because of its beauty and design. Next, you will start a half-day excursion to learn about the rice cycle on the Living Lands Community Farm, during which time you will take on the role of a rice farmer for the day and learn how to plant and plough rice paddies.
After lunch, head to the Kuang Si Falls, one of Luang Prabang's most beautiful waterfalls. While there, swim and relax amidst the verdant jungle in the turquoise pools at the base of the falls. You will also get the opportunity to meet some Asiatic Black Bears, which are cared for in a sanctuary near the falls. Many of them have been saved from the illegal wildlife trade or have been displaced due to habitat degradation.
After freshening up at your hotel, spend the evening attending a traditional Baci ceremony; Baci is a traditional dance performance during which you will be offered tidings of good luck in your travels. Afterwards, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Today guests can choose between two different activities. Either join a morning cookery class or a half-day elephant experience, in each instance enjoying an afternoon at leisure. Note that activities, which are included in the price, must be selected in advance, preferably at the time of booking to confirm availability and avoid disappointment. One activity is included per party, so all members of the booking party must undertake the same activity. If some members of the travelling party would like to select a different activity, then a surcharge will apply. The afternoon is at leisure to relax, shop or continue exploring this atmospheric small town.
This morning you will be picked up at your Luang Prabang hotel at 8 am for the overland trip to Xieng Khouang Province, the site of the Plain of Jars. The journey will take seven hours and there will be plenty of opportunities to stop and admire the beautiful mountain ranges and H'mong hill tribe villages along the way before arriving in Phonsavan town.
The Plain of Jars is one of Asia's most unusual sites and the 'jars' you will see here are thought to be over 2,000 years old although their origins remain a mystery. Archaeologists speculate that the 'jars' were funerary urns. Other, recent discoveries nearby include unusual treasures such as statues and precious artefacts. In the late afternoon you will check into your hotel in time to watch the sun fade behind the surrounding hills.
Your exploration of the mysterious Plain of Jars starts this morning with a drive out of town to visit Jars Sites 2 and 3. It is possible to walk the six kilometres from Site 2 to Site 3 through some amazing hilltop scenery with excellent surrounding views of the countryside.
Site 3 is possibly the most beautiful and is set atop a small rise, surrounded by scenic yet bomb-scarred rice paddies. After Site 3 it is a short drive to Tad Lang Waterfall, one of the largest waterfalls in Xieng Khouang Province. Then we will proceed the drive to Van Vieng. Arrive in Vang Vieng in late afternoon, in time to admire the sunset and relax with a cold drink on the banks of the river. In recent years, the town has become popular with backpackers, but with the emergence of new upscale quieter resorts, the area can now be enjoyed by all.
In the morning enjoy a bicycle ride around the outskirts of town to experience some of the beautiful scenery and local life Vang Vieng has to offer. Visit an organic farm, enjoy tea or coffee, and take a gentle kayak on the majestic Nam Song River. You will receive a brief introduction to the basics of kayaking, and will work your way downstream towards the town, taking in the towering karst formations around you from the unique perspective of a kayak. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the riverside before returning to your hotel.
This morning, visit some interesting local villages and markets with your guide. In the late afternoon, drive for three hours to Vientiane. On arrival, transfer to your hotel, check in and freshen up. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, before enjoying dinner.
Vientiane is located on the Mekong River. It is Laos' capital and, with a population of 600,000, the country's largest city. Despite some new developments, Vientiane retains an 'old world' feel unlike other Asian cities. Starting at 8:30am, join a tour that will take in the city's intriguing main sights. You will visit the morning market, Talat Sao, where you will see silk and cotton textiles, gold and silver jewellery, and wooden carvings. Next, visit exquisite Wat Sisaket, Vientiane's oldest original temple, which dates from 1818 ; all the other temples in Vientiane were re-built after the Siamese invasion of 1828. Across the street, Haw Pha Kaew, the former royal temple of the Lao Monarchy, has now been converted into an interesting museum.
After a break for lunch, visit the most active temple in Vientiane, Wat Si Muang; if you are lucky, you may be able to see local temple-goers praying for good fortune. From here you will continue on to the COPE Visitor's Centre, an outstanding local organisation providing prosthetic limbs to victims of unexploded mines and vehicle accidents throughout Laos. This centre gives you both an informative and interactive insight into some of the issues still plaguing Laos from the era of the Indochina war.
Finally, finish your day's touring with a stop at Phra That Luang, the most important national monument in Laos and symbolic of both the monarchy and the Buddhist religion, and the Patuxai Monument, which is strongly reminiscent of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. At the conclusion of your tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Breakfast and airport transfer to connect your outbound flight to next destination. Goodbye Laos and see you again!