We can tailor this trip to suit your specific requirements
Any aspect of the itinerary can be altered, from excursion to accommodation

Grand Tour of Lao 18DAYS 17NIGHTS

CODE GCGTL18D17N
DESTINATION Lao
CATEGORY Classic Adventure
DURATION 18 days 17 nights
TOUR DETAILS

Booking Package


Gain a lot of valuable information of Laos culture, traditions and customs in the occasion of visiting to villages of ethnic minorities, workshops, local night markets, etc. Enjoy an orientation tour of the major highlights of Luang Probang including Wat Xieng Thong, Royal Palace and Wat Mai.

Witness the long lines of orange-robed monks leaving their pagodas to receive offerings of food from Luang Prabang residents in the morning procession. Enjoy the most scenic sunset view from Mount Phousi. Opportunity to catch some wonderful shooting and visit the Akha, Lao Houei and Iko villages. Sail up the Mekong River to the holy and mysterious Pak Ou Caves
 
Gain insight Vientiane, one of the least discovered capitals in Asia explores the different highlights of the city, including gilded temples and important monuments. Discover the remarkable temple of Wat Phou, UNESCO world heritage site. 

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS

Luang Prabang Phongsali Vang Vieng

 


DAY 01: LUANG PRABANG ARRIVAL

Upon arrival at Luang Prabang airport by flight, you will be met with your guide and transfer by vehicle to your hotel. An orientation tour gives you an idea of the size of town that remains at a human scale.

The first stop will take you to a Vat (temple) where you may have the chance to have a chat with monks or novices and therefore get some insights into the spiritual life of the Laotians themselves and to some extent of the city too. Your next step will be at Phou Si Mountain from where you will ascend the 328 steps that lead to the top from where you will enjoy marvelous views over the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers, the neighboring mountain ranges and the city at the foot.

Spectacular sunsets can be witnessed in a peaceful atmosphere. Walk down to the other side of the hill and stroll to the nearby colorful evening Night Market dominated by ethnic minorities of the surrounding hill tribes coming in their traditional costume and selling their handicrafts. The night market is on the main street of the city and starts from 5pm to10pm daily.

Overnight in Luang Prabang
Meal included on this day: Lunch

Day 02: Luang Prabang

For early-risers (from 5:30 to 7:00 am approximately), those interested may live like local as you board your tuk tuk to head to a least visited area of town around Vat Nong where you have a chance to attend and/or participate at a very special dawn witnessing of the long lines of orange-robed monks leaving their pagodas to receive offerings of food from Luang Prabang residents. Return to the hotel for breakfast.

The city tour begins in the morning with your guide who will enable you to learn more about this town registered on the World Heritage Patrimony List since 1995. First start visit by the most photographed temple: Wat Xieng Thong. Located at the end of the peninsula, close to the Mekong, this temple has been erected in 1560 by King Setthathirat while the library has been added in 1828

Your tour starts at the former Royal Palace, now the National Museum. Your walk continue to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief (closed on Tuesdays). During Pimai, the lao new year, the Prabang normally housed in the Royal Palace Museum is brought and put on public display in this temple. Then, our walk will conduct us to Wat Sensoukarahm, build in 1718 with its beautiful dazzling golden façade.

Overnight in Luang Prabang
Meal included on this day: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 03: Luang Prabang & Kuangsi

A very special (optional) dawn visit – highly recommended - before breakfast to witness the long lines of orange-robed monks leaving their pagodas to receive offerings of food from Luang Prabang residents. Back to the hotel for breakfast.

In the morning, Wat Visoun, the holiest temple of the city, entirely rebuilt after being destroyed in 1887 by the invading Black Flags from Southern China. In the courtyard of Wat Visoun stands the Watermelon Stupa shaped like the fruit it takes its name from. You will continue by Wat Aham where we can find the altar of the 2 genius of Luang Prabang and then go to Wat That where the ashes of King Sisavang Vong are interred inside the large central stupa.

During the afternoon, you will visit Kuangsi Waterfalls, located at 32 km from Luang Prabang. These waterfalls run through a multilevel limestone formations in the jungle into a series of turquoise blue pools where you may bathing at the foot of the falls if the weather is nice (please wear a sarong, no naked bodies). On the way back to your hotel, stop at 2 ethnic villages to learn more about their local daily life.

Overnight in Luang Prabang
Meal included on this day: Breakfast

Day 04: Luang Prabang - Oudomxay

A very special (optional) dawn visit – highly recommended - before breakfast to witness the long lines of orange-robed monks leaving their pagodas to receive offerings of food from Luang Prabang residents. Back to the hotel for breakfast.

In the morning, Wat Visoun, the holiest temple of the city, entirely rebuilt after being destroyed in 1887 by the invading Black Flags from Southern China. In the courtyard of Wat Visoun stands the Watermelon Stupa shaped like the fruit it takes its name from. You will continue by Wat Aham where we can find the altar of the 2 genius of Luang Prabang and then go to Wat That where the ashes of King Sisavang Vong are interred inside the large central stupa.

During the afternoon, you will visit Kuangsi Waterfalls, located at 32 km from Luang Prabang. These waterfalls run through a multilevel limestone formations in the jungle into a series of turquoise blue pools where you may bathing at the foot of the falls if the weather is nice (please wear a sarong, no naked bodies). On the way back to your hotel, stop at 2 ethnic villages to learn more about their local daily life.

Overnight in Oudomxay
Meal included on this day: Breakfast

Day 05: Oudomxay - Muang La - Bouneua

After our breakfast, we will leave our hotel by road to Nam Phak River to Muong La. On arrival we visit Pra Xack Kham Temple with its sacred Buddha image.

This 400 year old statue legendary possesses many supernatural powers which are widely worshipped among local people. Upon leaving Muong La , the roads begin to deteriorate; however many villages dot the hillsides and the undulating terrains make for an interesting journey.

Overnight in Bouneua 
Meal included on this day: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 06: Bouneua - Phongsaly

In the morning after your breakfast continues to these back roads are a perfect way to explore the real Laos.

We see very few other travellers, mostly rural dwellers who are just as interested in finding out about our lives as we are of theirs. We arrive in Phong Saly by late afternoon depending on roads and traffic conditions.

Overnight in Phong Saly
Meal included on this day: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 07: Phongsay

This morning after your Phongsali town at 1430 m elevation is the highest city in Lao P.D.R. and the capital of Phongsali province. Up here the climate is pleasant and refreshing. The town is surrounded by rolling hills and built into the side of ‘Phu Fa’ Mountain (1625 m), (Engl. ‘Sky Mountain’).

The 45 min hike up to its stupa on top offers spectacular views of the town and the mountains in far distance. Unless many other cities in Laos, Phongsali town has not been destroyed in the American War. It features a remaining old quarter with Yunnan’s wooden architecture now rare to find even in Yunnan itself. Mostly Chinese-speaking Hor people live in the old quarter. Besides them Phongsali is the heartland of the Buddhist Phunoy-people.

Up to 400-year-old wild tea trees grows in the village of Ban Komaen, 15 km by road from Phongsali town. Phunoy women pick the precious leaves and sell this rare tea in cigar-shaped tubes.

Overnight in Phong Saly
Meal included on this day: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 08: Phongsaly - Hatsa - Muang Khua

The exploration of Phong Saly commences with a short walk to the Phoufa Mountain. The scenery from the peak is one of the most beautiful views imaginable. Upon leaving this secluded town we set off on a short drive on rugged roads to Hatsat village before we board a traditional boat for our wonderful exploration of the Nam Ou River.

This watercourse flows from the high mountainous area through many secluded hamlets to the confluence in front of the Pak Ou Caves. The pace of our trip is very relaxed, a perfect way to observe rural life close up. We make stopover at Muong Samphan and Ban Kana village to see some traditional houses, which are very different from the current structure with a mix of traditional and modern architecture.

Overnight in Munag Khua
Meal included on this day: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 09: Muang Khua - Muang Ngoi

In the morning after your breakfast, transfer to ferry then take the boat 5 hour to Muang Ngoi.  enjoy your picnic lunch on the boat.

After your lunch we will continues to Muang Ngoi, arrive in Muang Ngoi check in at your hotel and then talk around to visit the village.

Overnight in Muang Ngoi                
Meal included on this day: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 10: Muang Ngoi – Trekking

Meet at 9:00 Am and begin trekking 30 minutes to visit Tham Kaang, the former sheltering cave for local villagers during Indochina war(1960-1972). Which has never damages with beautiful surrounding.

After visiting, we will walk to Ban Houay Boor ( a village of Khmu and T’ai Deng village), where we eat lunch at villager’s home. Then we continue trekking to Ban Na (a village of T’ai Deng ethnic group). After visiting and explore local people’s working and living condition, we return to Muang Ngoi. Then continue to Nong Khiaw take about one hour by boat. Arrive in Nong Khiaw transfer to your hotel.

Overnight in Muang Ngoi                
Meal included on this day: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 11: Muang Ngoi - Pak Ou - Luang Prabang

After breakfast, this morning embark for slow boat trip along Nam Ou River to Luang Prabang. A first stop on the way back we visit the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, carved out of a towering limestone cliff.

In Pak Ou thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues are crammed into the two caves carved out of a towering limestone cliff. They range in size from a few centimeters to the size of a human. Next stop to visit Ban Sang Hai village is well know as Rice Wince village. Free in the afternoon at leisure.

Overnight in Luang Prabang               
Meal included on this day: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 12: Luang Prabang - Vang Vieng

After breakfast, morning depart for a drive down spectacular Route 13 towards Vang Vieng (7 to 8 hours). Stop in Kasi, the center of a fruit-growing area. Continue to Vang Vieng, nestled along the Nam Song River and framed by spectacular karst formations housing numerous caves.

Visit of Tham Jam Cave in the afternoon and stroll through town along the Nam Song River. If timing permits, visit of the organic farm, 3km northwards of Vang Vieng where traditional gardening ways are maintaining in order to produce fresh vegetable and fruits.

Vang Vieng is a famous place between Vientiane and Luang Prabang, surrounding by an amazing limestone relief where you may visit some caves. If the town losts a part of its soul, do not hesitate to move a little bit away to enjoy the local daily life. Besides the banks of the Nam Song River, you may have a lot of opportunities for trekking and caving as well to learn about the local mythology regarding the name of the caves. Do not forget your sunset upon the river!

Overnight in Vang Vieng               
Meal included on this day: Breakfast

Day 13: Vang Vieng - Nam Ngum lake - Vientian

After breakfast, transfer to Vientiane (3 hour take) with a visit at the salt mine of Ban Kheune and at the typical local market of Kilometer 15 (Don Mak Kai). Arrive in Vientiane for Lunch (not included): recommended Makphet, a vocational restaurant that aims to re-integrate street children.

Wat Sisaket: the only temple left intact after the Siamese invasion in 1828. One of the most beautiful temple of the capital with its thousands of miniature Buddha statues.

Afternoon will be used to visit Wat Phra Keo, used as a religious museum where are displayed Lao and Khmer works of art. Just besides, have a look to the Presidential Palace (former French governor Palace. No visit). The next place is Wat Simuang, the most popular and venerated temple in Vientiane which is the guardian of the spirit of the city. Among this location, you will find an angkorian pillar. It is said that, you should turn around 3 times by formulating a wish. If that one becomes true, you have to bring back some offerings.

Continue with the Patuxay monument (the Lao Arc de Triomphe), also called Anousavari. From its roof enjoy a panoramic sight over the city. Then, pursue to the That Luang constructed by King Setthethirat, the holiest place in Laos where you may enjoy the sunlight on the golden structure

Overnight in Vientiane              
Meal included on this day: Breakfast

Day 14: Vientiane - Pakse - Cham Pasak

In the morning after your breakfast, transfer to Vientiane airport for your fight to Pakse. Arrive in Pakse airport meet your guide and transfer to Sinok coffee for state wat phou cruise.Departure from Pakse for Champassak, heading south aboard a local longtail riverboat, zigzagging through mild rapids and sand banks

Arriving at Champassak in time for a riverside lunch, followed by a guided tour of the mysterious pre-Angkorian 10th century temple of Vat Phou a UNESCO world heritage site. Recorded on the UNESCO World Heritage List, Wat Phou with its atmosphere is a pre-angkorian temples built upon three levels. When the temple has been erected, it was the most important economic and political centre in the region. The lower level is focused on the baray (water reservoir) and the promenade to join the second level with the galleries and the quadrangular pavilions. The upper level is the sanctuary itself.

Return to Champassak to see samples of French colonial architecture. Before returning to the boat 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 in Vientiane              
Meal included on this day: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 15: Houy Tomo - Khong Island

Breakfast on board as the boat sail for the village of Houay Tomo, only a few minutes walk away from the spectacular hidden forest temple of Oum Muang.

Afterwards rejoin the boat for a cruise southwards and lunch on the deck, while you will continue your leisurely sail further south to the of the “4,000 islands”, arrived in the afternoon closed to Khong Island at Ban Dua Tae, and visit this traditional Laotian Village where the traditional way of life has not changed in centuries. Khong Island is the biggest island in south Laos, a gate way to the 4000 islands.

In the upmost southern part of Laos and one of the jewels of the Mekong: 4,000 islands called “Siphandon” in Lao language. Siphandon is a unique breathtaking place with a unique atmosphere, just at the border with Cambodia. Here, the Mekong stretches over 14km wide and has thousands of islands between those the river flows and runs between cascades and rapids. Back on board for dinner.

Overnight in Khong Island              
Meal included on this day: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 16: Khong Island - Khone Pha Pang - Pakse

Breakfast on the deck, while cruising to the small village of Ban Veuthong where we will board a small long-tail boat to Khone Island. Don Det and Don Khone are two very laidback islands, without any car, just on the border with Strung Treng Province in Cambodia.

Here all is really quiet and electricity is only provided in the evening. If the northern part of Don Det, close to the pier has been developed as a backpacker spot, the southern part and Don Khone kept their local facet with the culture of coconut, kapok and bamboo. Done Det and Done Khone are sites of the only railway ever built in Laos at the end of the 19th century.

The islands played an important role by linking Laos to Cambodia and Southern Vietnam during the French time. To overpass the falls, they built a railway and a bridge which give a unique atmosphere to the place. The perfect place to take and appreciate your time!

After visit, take a long tail boat back to the main land for lunch; here you can see colorful French colonial houses and an old customs post, alongside a stone quay. Then, take a minivan to the Khone Phapheng waterfall, close to the Cambodian border. Khone Phapheng are the highest falls and probably the most impressive waterfalls of the country and the community has installed a wooden hut from where the view is beautiful. In addition, over the falls, locals develop a system of bamboo structures used by them for fishing believing that they got an alliance with the genius of the spot. After your visit, back by overland transport to Pakse.

Overnight in Pakse           
Meal included on this day: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 17: Pakse - Bolaven - Pakse

In the morning after your breakfast, your visit is followed by a drive to through the Bolovens Plateau, visit a tea and/or a coffee plantations of the Bolavens Plateau. The way to Bolaven Plateau (or Boloven) get through a mountainous region and in several areas along the road, there are coffee plantations.

One of the most famous coffees in the world. Coffee in Laos is cultivated almost exclusively on the Bolovens Plateau by around 20000 families who live in 250 villages in cool fresh air. The Plateau is as well home of hill tribes such as Lavens.

Continue to Tad Fane &Tad Yuang waterfalls. Tad Fane Waterfalls is located at the door of the Bolavens Plateau and Dong Hua Sao protected area. Just 38 km from Paksé. Impressive is the perfect word to feature these waterfalls: a twin 120m waterfalls done by the Champy and Pak Koot rivers emerging from the dense jungle and thundering down into a deep gorge. Attention: water level may vary accordingly to the previous rainy season.

In the afternoon,En-route to Tad Lo Waterfalls, you will enjoy the beauty of the massif.  Tad Lo is featured by three waterfalls. The nearest is Tad Hang that could be seen from the bridge. Tad Lo is the second one. But the most impressive waterfall is the third, Tad Suong, with a stunning fall. That one is located 10km upriver. Return to Pakse in the late afternoon.  

Overnight in Pakse
Meal included on this day: Breakfast

Day 18: Pakse - Departure

In the late this mourning after your breakfast transfer to Pakse airport for your flight.

Meal included on this day: Breakfast

OUR SERVICES INCLUDE:

  • Accommodation at selected hotels based on Single, Double/Twin Room with breakfast.
  • Meals as indicated in itinerary. B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner.
  • English speaking tour guide
  • All entrance fees as indicated in itinerary
  • Akha Experience Package into a traditional Akha Style house (one dormitory for women and ne for men)
  • Land transportation with driver in the itinerary (could be by tuktuk for short transfers)
  • Trekking and Elephant riding at Tad Sae
  • Boat trip as mentioned in the program
  • All permissions and local taxes

OUR SERVICES DO NOT INCLUDE:

  • International and internal flights with airport and departure taxes
  • Alcoholic drinks & drinks at mealtime + Optional visits + Personal expenses (Telephone, laundry...)
    Visa stamping fee for Laos (visa on arrival, valid 30 days: 30 to 42US$ upon client’s nationality + 1 photo. Passport has to be valid at least 6 months after departure date of the country). Subject to change without prior notice
  • Extension visa 2 USD/day/Pax. Subject to change without prior notice
  • Personal travel insurance (should include helicopter evacuation for Laos & repatriation)
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips for guide, driver, boat crew & hotels’ porters
  • Meals other than those mentioned above
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the Package Inclusion above

No Hotel Available

  Display Hotel City, Country

The marble pillars, spiral staircase and chandeliers are a grand testimony to our sophistication, while our fine-dining outlets are designed to simplify your stay by meeting all your needs under one roof. Our guests are treated to the capital’s

...

FOLLOW US ON

       

Our Go Cambodia Travel

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR E-NEWSLETTER

Sign up for Go Cambodia Travel’s e-newsletter featuring
promotions, travel musings and insider destination.