Trip Description & Day-by-day Itinerary
Laos Adventure Holiday is a multi-activity holiday that includes both popular places and off-the-beaten path destinations. Begin the trip in Luang Prabang, you travel from north to south Laos, visit such sights as Khouangsi Waterfall, Pakou caves, Plain of Jars, Vang Vieng, and 4000 islands.
DAY 1: ARRIVE LUANG PRABANG
On arrival at the airport, you will be met by our staff and transferred to your hotel. This former royal capital with its gleaming temple roofs, fading colonial architecture and stunning mountain backdrop retains a unique charm rarely found in Asia. There is little traffic on the roads and monks in orange robes scurry in all directions carrying umbrellas to shade themselves. We’ll embark on 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 is a night market we can go to for some shopping, or just enjoy the city’s nightlife. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
DAY 2: LUANG PRABANG CITY TOUR & PAK OU CAVE
Today, we continue our tour of the city, visiting the oldest temple, Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong where you can see the impressive “tree of life” mosaic set in colored glass. 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. After the river trip we drive towards Ban Phanom, a small village known for its hand weaving. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
DAY 3: KHOUANGSI WATERFALL
The exploration of Luang Prabang would be not complete with a visit to the National Museum (closed Tuesday) at the former Royal Palace. This interesting structure displays a lovely collection of treasures and artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture. Heading out of town we drive southbound to the Khouangsi waterfalls, passing some verdant and rugged scenery and visiting some hill tribe villages. When we arrive at the falls, you can swim in the cool and crystal clear pools, or trek in the surrounding lush forest. Overnight in Luang Prabang
DAY 4: LUANG PRABANG -> XIENG KHOUANG
Today we leave this charming town and drive to Xieng Khouang, an area once devastated by American bombing. These back roads are a great way to have authentic Laotian experiences. We see very few other travelers, just mostly rural dwellers who are as interested in us as we are of them. The drive is very long, but we can make many stops to photograph the gorgeous landscape. Overnight in Xieng Khouang .
DAY 5: PLAIN OF JARS
After breakfast we head out to the old capital in Muang Khoun province and some nearby Hmong and Thai Dam villages. Our excursion continues to the Plain of Jars, an impressive archeological site containing hundreds of jars scattered over the plain. During the day we’ll stop at more local villages to learn about local culture and lifestyle. We return to Phonsavanh by late afternoon. Overnight in Xieng Khouang.
DAY 6: XIENG KHOUANG -> VANG VIENG
We leave Xieng Khouang for our scenic drive to Vang Vieng. The drive can be strenuous as the route is one of the roughest in Asia. We’ll arrive in the afternoon to this small and tranquil town nestled on a bend of the Nam Song River. The place is a natural paradise and is perfect for some R&R. Overnight in Vang Vieng
DAY 7: VANG VIENG TREKKING
Today we head out of town taking a short drive before setting off on a full day’s trek through undulating hillsides and paddy fields. On the way, we visit the Tham Hoy Cave and Ban Phathao village. After a splendid picnic lunch, we continue walking past the fantastic karst formations. The trekking ends when we arrive in Ban Tham Xang in the late afternoon. At this small village, we have a chance to explore the interesting local lifestyles and enjoy a traditional dance. Overnight in Vang Vieng
DAY 8: VANG VIENG -> VIENTIANE
Heading out of town we enjoy a short bamboo raft ride along the Namsong River. We will be able to witness life on the river and the wild surroundings. We also visit the pleasant Ban Huai Ngai village before departing for Vientiane. Located on the banks of the Mekong River. This capital is an interesting fusion of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French and American influences. Overnight in Vientiane .
DAY 9: VIENTIANE CITY TOUR
Our full day sightseeing tour of Vientiane commences with a visit to Wat Sisaket, the oldest city temple. This amazing structure has remarkable frescoes and Buddha statues. Then we see the former royal temple, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha. We also visit the imposing Patuxay Monument, Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph, before continuing to see the imposing That Luang Stupa. We head out of town to visit Buddha Park, a scattered enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures. There are approximately 200 religious images dating back over 500 years here. Observing the spectacular sunset over the Mekong River is a perfect way to finish the day. Overnight in Vientiane.
DAY 10: VIENTIANE -> PAKSE -> TADLO
We take a short morning flight to the southern city of Pakse. After meeting our guide we drive to Tadlo. On the way we’ll pass many lush plantations, hills, forests and villages. We stop at some nearby villages, home to the Kato group. Hill tribe people are unfailingly friendly, welcoming you with waving hands and smiling faces. We continue our journey through the Paksong and Boloven Plateau. The Boloven Plateau is known for its cooler temperature and for the impressive rivers that run off the plateau’s edges and plunge into the lush forests below. We’ll make sure to stop at Tad Fan waterfall with its spectacular 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 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 Tad Lo, we visit the minority villages of Alak, Nge and Katu, people. Overnight in Tadlo .
DAY 11: TADLO -> WAT PHOU -> DON KHONE
We leave this lovely destination and drive back to Pakse and enjoy a leisurely trip to Champasak the former royal capital. This will be our base for exploring the ruins of the 5th century Wat Phu, one of Southeast Asia’s most dramatically situated temples, perched at the base of Mount Phu Kao. We continue our journey by motorboat to Don Khone, the largest island in the South Mekong river region known for its 4000 islands. Overnight in Don Khone Island .
DAY 12: 4000 ISLANDS
Heading out of town we embark on a long tail boat to explore the local peaceful villages where you will see an array of relics from the French colonial era, including old buildings and the remnants of the first Lao railway with it’s locomotive. We continue by boat to the marvelous Liphi waterfalls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Asia. If we are lucky, we may even see the rare freshwater Irrawaddy Mekong dolphin at Ban Hang Khone. Overnight in Done Khone Island.
DAY 13: LAOS -> CAMBODIA
After breakfast, we board a boat to Ban Nakasung and take a short drive to the Lao – Cambodia border. En route we visit the breathtaking Khone Phapheng waterfalls, South East Asia’s biggest, known as the Niagara of the East. The trip ends after your transfer to the Lao-Cambodia border at the Veukham or Dong Kalor.