Trip Description & Day-by-day Itinerary
Laos 10 Days Itinerary is a combination of classic, sightseeing and off the beaten track tour we arrange in Laos. The 10 day trip starts in Luang Prabang, northern Laos, goes through Xieng Khouang, Vientiane and finishes in Pakse, southern Laos.
DAY 1: ARRIVE LUANG PRABANG
You will be met by our staff 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. We’ll visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrines of Wat Aham and Wat Mai; we then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi to explore the sacred, gilded stupa as well as capture a beautiful view of the city and the Mekong River at sunset. From there, we visit the Night Market, where you can browse through a lovely selection of handmade textiles. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
DAY 2: PAKOU CAVE
After breakfast, we enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong with its low sweeping rooves. We then board an upstream cruise on the Mekong River, which gives us a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside. We’ll make sure to stop at the Pak Ou Caves, sanctuaries consisting of two large caverns, both repositories for thousands of Buddha images. We will also stop at a few villages during the day, including Ban Xanghai where the local rice wine is produced and Ban Xiengmene and Ban Chan. In the afternoon we’ll visit the royal temple at Wat Longkhoun. Once back in Luang Prabang we’ll take a short drive to Ban Phanom, a village well known for its hand weaving and, if time, Ban Xangkong and Ban Xieng Lek – small villages well known for silk weavings and for Saa (jute) Papermaking. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
DAY 3: KHOUANGSI WATERFALLS
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily alms giving ritual to saffron-clad monks. This tradition is unique to Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. You will visit the morning Phosi Market where you will find dried buffalo skins, local teas and saltpeter among the many foodstuffs and hill-tribe textiles. Laos is also known for its traditional crafts, and today you will have the opportunity to visit ethnic minority groups in the Ban Ouay, Hmong, Ban Ou, Laoloum, Ban Thapene and Khmu Villages. After visiting the villages, we drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfalls where you can swim in the turquoise pools or walk along forest paths. We return to Luang Prabang in the late evening to observe the sunset at Wat Phabath. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
DAY 4: LUANG PRABANG -> XIENG KHOUANG
After breakfast we visit The National Museum (closed Tuesday) at the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture throughout the ages. Today we leave this charming town and drive to Xieng Khouang, an area once devastated by American bombings. These back roads are a great way to have an authentic Laos experience. We’ll see very few other travelers, just mostly rural dwellers who are just as interested in us as we are about them! Upon arrival, we transfer out to visit the Plain of Jars, an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are scattered all over the plateau. If time permits, we see the old capital of Muang Khoun and some nearby villages, Overnight in Xiengkhuang.
DAY 5: XIENG KHOUANG -> VIENTIANE
Following breakfast, we visit the Central Market, after which, you have free time to explore the town further before catching our flight to Vientiane. After checking into the hotel, we continue our sightseeing tour of the surrounding areas. Time permitting we’ll go to the impressive Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge and Buddha Park, a scattered enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures. There are approximately 200 religious images dating back over 500 years here. A spectacular view of over the Mekong River at sunset is a perfect way to finish the day. Overnight in Vientiane.
DAY 6: VIENTIANE CITY TOUR
AM: After breakfast, we continue to explore the capital by visiting the major sights including Wat Sisaket, which contains more than 8000 Buddha statues, Wat Ho Prakeo the former home of the Emerald Buddha statue and That Luang Stupa, the single most important monument in Laos. We also see the Patuxay (Lao Arc de Triomphe), which was built recently in commemoration of those who died during past wars and today it is the city’s main landmark.
PM: We continue visiting the rest of Vientiane by foot, including Wat Ong Tue, Wat Inpeng and Wat Haisok. We pass by the major shopping areas and the Vientiane Central Markets where various goods are displayed for sale. We return to the Mekong Riverside in the late afternoon to watch the sunset. Overnight in Vientiane.
DAY 7: VIENTIANE -> PAKSE -> DON KHONE ISLAND
After breakfast, we catch an early flight to Pakse. On arrival, we drive south to visit the fascinating UNESCO protected pre-Angkorian ruins of Wat Phu, one of Southeast Asia’s most dramatically situated temples. They are perched at the base of Mount Phu Kao and date back to the 5th century. We continue our drive to Ban Nakasang then take a local boat to Donkhone island, the largest island in the South Mekong river region known for its 4000 islands. Overnight in Don Khone Island.
DAY 8: DON KHONE ISLAND
After an early breakfast, we explore the local villages, where you will see an array of relics from the French colonial era including an old railway and locomotive. We continue to discover the area by boat at our leisure and make sure to stop at Liphi waterfalls, one of the most beautiful in Laos. If we are lucky, we may even see the rare freshwater Irrawaddy Mekong dolphin. We return to Ban Nakasung and drive to Khone Phapheng, the largest and most famous waterfalls in South East Asia. Overnight in Don Khone Island .
DAY 9: DON KHONE ISLAND -> TADLO -> PAKSE
Upon leaving Don Khone, we continue our journey towards Tadlo through the Boloven plateau. The Plateau is known for its cooler temperature and has remarkable rivers running off the edges into the lush forests below. A trip to the plateau provides a refreshing break from the heat and allows you to see how coffee, tea, cardamom, bananas, and other crops are cultivated. This part of our journey is off the beaten track and allows you to discover some of the lesser-known areas in Laos. Upon arrival at the Tad Lo waterfall, we visit ethnic minority villages of the Alak, Nge and Katu. We return to Pakse by late evening. Overnight in Pakse .
DAY 10: DEPARTURE
After breakfast; there will be free time for your own exploration of Pakse before catching a flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia or exiting Laos overland to Thailand.