THE ANCIENT CAPITAL
Luang Prabang, the ancient capital is an example of a 4-day itinerary that includes the most significant sights of Luang Prabang. It is the perfect tour for those who only have a few days to spare or who wish to mix and match this itinerary with other tours in Laos or other countries.
Visit Luang Prabang, ‘City of the Golden Buddha‘, the legendary capital of the Lan Xang Kingdom, located on the peninsula at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam rivers, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995.
Admire the beauty of the Kuang Si waterfalls and cruise the Mekong River to discover the Pak Ou Caves, or the Thousand Buddha Caves, a significant place of worship and pilgrimage for centuries.
This sample itinerary starts and ends in Luang Prabang. It can be tailored to suit your travel needs as well as combined with other routes.
Length : 4D 3N
From : LUANG PRABANG
To :LUANG PRABANG
Destinations : Luang Prabang
01. ARRIVE IN LUANG PRABANG
Welcome meeting by our staff on your arrival in Luang Prabang and transfer to the hotel.
Late in the afternoon we climb Mount Phousi to visit the sacred golden stupa and admire the beautiful city skyline and a romantic sunset over the Mekong.
A walk to the Night Market on Luang Prabang’s main street in the evening is definitely worthwhile, as you can meet local traders selling handicrafts from the area’s ethnic minorities.
Included : Private pick up from the airport, guide, tickets, private transportation and hotel
02. LUANG PRABANG - CITY TOUR
At 5:30am we witness the Tak Bak ceremony, the monks’ quest, an ancient Asian Buddhist religious tradition practiced with constancy only in Luang Prabang. Every morning, for the past 2,500 years, hundreds of monks walk barefoot from their temples to the centre of the city. Forming a long line, they slowly walk through the streets to collect alms, especially ‘sticky rice’, donated by the faithful, who wait silently on the pavements, in exchange for prayers and blessings.
Once finished, we return to the hotel for breakfast. We then begin our walking tour of the most important monuments.
We visit the National Museum: formerly the Royal Palace, it now houses an important collection of valuables including statues of Buddha and many other objects donated by dignitaries visiting the court in Luang Prabang.
We continue along the quiet streets lined with buildings from the French colonial period to admire their architecture and learn about their original function.
Next we visit the Wat Sene Souk Haram temple, or ‘Temple of 100,000 Treasures‘, built in 1718 using 100,000 stones extracted from the Mekong River, and Wat Xieng Thong, or ‘Monastery of the Golden City‘, founded in 1560, one of the most important in Luang Prabang, known for the grace and elegance of its architecture.
Afterwards, we visit Wat Visoun, built in 1513, Wat Aham, or ‘Monastery of the Blossoming Heart‘, built at the beginning of the 19th century as a place of meditation and a meeting place between animist and Buddhist cultures, and the Wat Mai, ‘New Monastery‘, built at the end of the 18th century, one of the most complex and picturesque temples in the city, richly decorated and easily distinguishable by its unique five-level roof.
Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation
03. PAK OU CAVES AND KUANG SI WATERFALLS
Kuang Si waterfalls
After breakfast we head to the pier and embark on a river cruise to Pak Ou Caves, also known as the Thousand Buddha Caves. Located at the confluence of the Mekong and Ou rivers, they are one of the must-see sights on a trip to Laos.
The sanctuary consists of two large limestone caves: Tham Ting, the lower cavity, which can be reached by climbing the 30-step staircase, and Tham Theung, the upper cavity, which can be reached by climbing the 70-step staircase.
The Pak Ou caves have been an important place of worship for many centuries for the faithful, who offer a Buddha image as a gift when they make a pilgrimage there. As a result of this tradition, today both cavities house thousands of statues of Buddha of different sizes, from a few centimeters to about 2 meters, in different styles and spiritual positions (mudras), from meditation to ascent to nirvana.
During the cruise we admire the typical Laotian rural landscape and the local lifestyle. We stop for a short visit to the village of Ban Xang Hai, known for the production of “Lao Lao”, the famous rice whiskey.
We continue to the outskirts of Luang Prabang to the incredible Kuang Si waterfalls. Along the way we visit some villages inhabited by ethnic minorities. Once at the falls, there is plenty of free time for a refreshing dip in the turquoise waters, to explore the trails that lead into the forest, or simply to relax surrounded by this beautiful natural setting.
On the way back to Luang Prabang we visit the village of Ban Xang Kong, known for its ancient textile tradition and the production of paper from mulberry bark. We end the day with a beautiful sunset from the top of the Wat Phabath temple.
Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, boat, tickets and private transportation
04. LUANG PRABANG - DEPARTURE
Transfer to the international airport in time for your departure flight.
Included : Breakfast, private transportation to airport
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