Day 1: Arrival - Luang Prabang
You may fly to Luang Prabang from Bangkok or Chiangmai. 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. After a short rest, we visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrines of Wat Aham and Wat Mai. We then climb to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa and to enjoy 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 - Pakou - Luang Prabang
After breakfast, we enjoy a short-guided tour taking you to the main points of interest, including the city’s oldest temple Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its low sweeping roofs, representing classical Laotian architecture. We then board a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which gives us a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. En route, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where the rice wine is produced. Once back in Luang Prabang city we take a short drive to Ban Phanom, a village famous for its hand weaving. We also have time to visit Ban Xangkhong and Ban Xienglek, small villages well known for silk weavings and for Saa (jute) papermaking
Overnight in Luang Prabang. (B)
Day 3: Luang Prabang - Khouangsi Waterfalls - Hill Tribe Tour
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms 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 handicrafts, and today you will visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, Hmong Hill tribe, Ban Ou, Lowland Lao and Ban Thapene of Khmu village. After we head towards the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you can take a dip in the large turquoise pools or walk along the forest paths. We return to Luang Prabang by late afternoon and continue to Ban Phanom, a well-known tradional weaving village, and then return to the city by late evening for observing the sunset at Wat Siphouthabath.
Overnight in Luang Prabang (B)
Day 4: Luang Prabang - Vientiane
Of great interest to most visitors is the The National Museum (closed Tuesdays) at the former Royal Palace, which displays a collection of artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through to the last sovereign. We also have time to visit the Central Market, before taking our afternoon flight back to Vientiane. After transferring to the hotel, we start exploring Vientiane capital city with a sightseeing tour of some of the major sights of the capital; including the oldest temple Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. On the way to the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, we stop to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph.
Overnight in Vientiane (B)
Day 5: Vientiane - Pakse - Champassak - Wat Phou
You will depart Vientiane early for your 06.30 flight to Pakse, on arrival you will be met and transferred to the Vat Phou Cruise leaving Pakse for Champassak at 10:00am. The Vat Phou is a 34-meter long, air-conditioned converted rice rice barge consisting of twelve twin rooms, all of which are ensuite. There is a large shaded front upper deck, perfect for relaxing and gazing at the passing long scenic stretches and a restaurant onboard. Once on board and we head south, arrive at Champassak in time for a riverside lunch, followed by a guided tour of the mysterious pre-Angkorian 10th century temple of Wat Phou, the boat’s namesake. Wat Phou is a wonderful archeological site of Khmer civilization, predating the famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia. As dusk falls, we board the Vat Phou for a relaxing cruise down-river, enjoying the tropical sunset on the deck. Dinner is served on board, while the boat docks for the night alongside a remote Laotian village.
Overnight on board Wat Phou Cruise (B, L, D)
Day 6: Huei Thamo - Oum Moung Temple - Khong Island
After a leisurely breakfast on board, we set sail for the village of Huei Thamo, only a few minutes walk away from the spectacular hidden Manoluck LPQ forest temple of Oum Moung. We rejoin the boat for a leisurely cruise southbound and enjoy lunch on the deck, continuing south to the wild paradise of the “4,000 islands” region. In the afternoon we will arrive at Ban Dua Tae, a traditional Laotian Village where the traditional way of life has not changed in centuries. We observe traditional village life and learn about the daily activities within the village. This evening we enjoy a quiet dinner on board, under the stars, serenaded by the songs by the songs of the buffalo toads.
Overnight on board Wat Phou Cruise (B, L, D)
Day 7: Luang Prabang - Vientiane - Departure
Today we enjoy breakfast on the upper deck, while cruising to the small village of Ban Veuthong, where we will board a small longtail boat to Khong Island, the largest island in the 4,000 islands region. After visiting the island, we take a long tail boat back to the mainland for lunch amid the bygone splendid of another age; colorful French colonial houses and an old customs post, alongside a stone quay. We will transfer by minivan to the encaptivating, scenic splendor of the Khong Pha Peng waterfall, “the Niagara of the East“, close to the Cambodian border. We return to Pakse which is a two-hour journey by road, arriving in the late afternoon. Once we arrive you will be transferred to yout hotel.
Overnight in Pakse.
Day 8: Pakse - Departure
There is free time for you to explore the town further or to relax before your transfer to the airport for departure. (B)
End of services. Our staff will give you the warmest goodbye and hope to see you again.