This Laos tour offers a true ‘highlights of’ experience with plenty of time available for independent exploration of this enigmatic country in Vientiane and Luang Prabang on the banks of the Mekong River. The pace of this trip is perfect for those wanting a guided introduction to Laos combined with time for optional touring and plenty of relaxation.
Upon arrival in Vientiane you will be transferred to your hotel. This afternoon there will be a tour of Vientiane. Although it is a capital city, Vientiane has the feel of a small provincial town. The wide boulevards are almost devoid of traffic and with its many temples, the city retains the feel of another age. Our tour includes visits to the major temples of Wat Sisaket, Wat Prakeo and the impressive That Luang Stupa, the country’s most important monument. We will also see the Arch of Triumph, the National Museum and the main market. In the evening, following the meal you can enjoy an evening stroll along the banks of the Mekong River. Dinner at restaurant. Overnight in 3* hotel.
This morning we transfer to the airport for the short domestic flight to Luang Prabang. Luang Prabang is best known for its beautiful scenery and high numbers of ancient temples. This former royal capital has a rich variety of architecture, from the old facades of French colonial homes to the glittering temple rooftops. In 1995 UNESCO designated the town as a World Heritage site. We embark on a tour of this enthralling town visiting Wat Xieng Thong, the Golden City monastery. Dating back to the 16th century this splendid temple is considered to be the finest in Laos with its low sweeping roofs as well as a rare bronze reclining Buddha. We will also visit the fine temple of Wat Mai, Wat Vixoun. Later in the day we adjourn to the Phousi Holy Hill to enjoy the excellent views of the town and a great sunset. Overnight at the 3* hotel.
Today we take a trip to the Royal Palace Museum. The palace built in 1904 is relatively new by Luang Prabang standards and is a hybrid of traditional Lao and colonial French design. Originally the palace was constructed to house King Sisavang Vong but the French later commissioned the building. This helps to explain the mix of Lao and French architecture. Afterwards we will be followed by an excursion by boat on the Mekong River to the holy caves of Pac Ou. The caves are crammed with gilded and wooden images of Buddha. Along the way we will have a short visit Ban Xang Hai to learn about the traditional process of making local rice alcohol or whisky and weaving. After the caves we will be returning to Luang Prabang. Overnight in 3*hotel.
If one rises early there is a good opportunity to see a daily Lao morning ritual. Monks carrying their bowls, wander through town blessing local people who give them offers (mostly sticky rice). After breakfast a day trip to the beautiful Kuang Si waterfalls where turquoise waters cascade over limestone formations. The abundance of water forms a magnificent display of nature. Below the Kuang Si are large ponds perfect for swimming and cooling off under the spray. we will pass stupendous landscapes, teak forests and several ethnic minority villages (Hmong and Khmu). Near the waterfalls it’s worth while to visit a centre where the endangered black Asiatic beers found a safe shelter. If we have time enough we will continue to Ban Phanom or Ban Xiang Lom the weaving village for the excellent pieces of Lao textiles. Overnight at the hotel in Luang Prabang
Free time till transfer to the airport for the departure flight. End of tour.
* Inclusion: Accommodation in twin share, Local English speaking guide, air conditionned car/ bus, air ticket VTE/LPQ (economic class), entrance fees, meals as itinerary.
* Terms and conditions applied.