ADVENTURE TOUR IN LAOS 
 

Length

13 DAYS

Type of tour

CULTURE/NATURE

Type of service

PRIVATE

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TRIP OVERVIEW

The Adventure tour in Laos accompanies you in an unconventional travel experience in contact with the local culture and traditions, enriched by 2 days trekking experience in the forest off-the-beaten-track in the north.

Explore Muang Sing district at the border with Myanamr and China, then continue southeast to Oudomxay, along an itinerary immersed in a very picturesque natural scenery.

Visit Luang Prabang, “City of the Golden Buddha”, the legendary capital of  Lan Xang Kingdom, located on the peninsula at the confluence of Mekong and Nam Khan rivers, UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. Discover the beauty of Kuang Si waterfalls and cruise on Mekong river to Pak Ou caves, “Thousands Buddha cave”, for centuries an important place of worship and pilgrimage.

Continue to Vang Vieng, the town framed by dramatic scenery of karst mountains, lush forests, and impressive caves, and Vientiane, the capital that mixes French-colonial architecture with Buddhist temples such as the national symbol Pha That LuangExplore south Laos for an unforgettable nature experience that includes Bolaven Plateau, the incredible waterfalls Tad Fane, Li Phi, and the amazing Khone Papheng, and the islands Don Khong and Don Khone in 4000 islands area. 

It is essential to take into consideration that in some areas are not available high level accommodations and therefore is essential a fair amount of adaptation.

The itinerary is developed from Houay Xai (Thailand border) to Pakse. However can be further customised to suit your travel and budget needs, it can continue to Cambodia through the land border and can be combined with other routes.

Itineraries-Gran-tour-in-Uzbekistan © In Asia Travel

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Length : 13D 12N
From : HOUAY XAI (Thailand border)
To : PAKSE (or continue to Cambodia)
Destinations : Houay Xai, Luang Namtha, Ban Nalam, Muang Sing, Oudomxay, Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Vientiane, Pakse, Plateau Bolaven, Tad Lo, Champassak, Don Khong, 4000 island

ITINERARY

01. HOUAY XAI - LUANG NAMTHA

Rural village North LaosRural village North Laos

Arrive at Houay Xai (border Thailand (Chiang Khong) Laos).

Transfer to Luang Namtha and visit the local villages Ban Nam Chang, inhabited by Lao Houay tribe, and Ban Poong, inhabited by Tai Leu tribe known for the production of the famous local “Lao Lao” rice whiskey.

On the way we make few stops to some hill tribe villages. At the return to Luang Namtha.

Included : Private pick up at the border, tour guide, private transportation and hotel

02. TREKKING BAN NALAM

Trekking North LaosTrekking North Laos

After breakfast we transfer to the Ban Jaluensouk village (about 30 min), inhabited by the Khmu, from where it will start a wonderful experience of 2 days 1 night trekking.

We follow a path leading to the top of the hill and continues through alternating lush rice fields and forests, guided by a tribal guide which will show us the collective progress of local environmental conservation.

Along the way we meet villagers who go to markets to sell their goods. We descend to Ban Nalan Tai village on the banks of river Nam Ha river.

In order to offer to the local villages the opportunity to benefit in an equitable manner and to support the rural economy, overnights in local homestay rotate between Ban Nalan Tai and Ban Nam Goy villages. We will decide on spot based on the presence of other visitors. (If we overnight in Ban Nam Goy we will need to hike 40 min more)

* Trekking : around 5-6 h
** The homestay offers basic treatment with shared bathrooms. We spend the night in one shared room with floor mats and mosquito nets. Considering the extremely rural setting there is no electrical network or internet connection.

Included : Homestay, breakfast, lunch, dinner, tour guide, tribal guide, trekking permit and private transportation 

03. TREKKING NAM HA

Hill tribe village LaosHill tribe village

After breakfast at the homestay we continue the trekking through the forest toward Nam Ha river . The area is inhabited by many monkeys and deer and if pausing in silence to observe, with a little luck we might be able to spot some.

Picnic lunch in the forest with locals. 

In the afternoon we cross the  bridge over the river and enter Nam Ha National Park. Here the trail follows a stream through the dense jungle and will definitely happen to spot footprints of wildlife. The path emerges in the middle of green paddy fields and continues to the river which we will cross by small wooden boat. On the opposite riverside we visit Ban Hat Yawng village.

From her we can decide to return to Luang Namtha by river on the traditional long tail boat (about 1.5h) with the opportunity to see several species of birds, or by minivan (about 1 hour) along a road probably very rough but with excellent panoramic views.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, lunch, tour guide, tribal guide, trekking permits

04. MUANG SING

Local village at Muang SingLocal village at Muang Sing

In the morning transfer to Muang Sing, in the homonymous district, bordering Myanmar and China.

The rural town is located in a scenic panorama of mountains, between 500 and 2000 altitude, beautiful forests and agricultural crops, inhabited by ethnic minorities Tai Lue and Tai Neua, in the valley, but mostly Akha, on the hill.

After lunch we visit few Akha tribe villages, and Xieng Kok village to learn about the local traditions.

Afterwards we continue to the guesthouse at Muang Sing.

Included : Guesthouse, breakfast, tour guide, private transportation 

05. OUDOMXAI

Laos © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelRemote areas of Laos

In the morning we visit the tribal market of Muang Sing, the heart of the town where we will meet the villagers from across the region. As in every markets in Asia, the best time to capture the vibrancy of the local life-style is in the early morning, between 7 and 8 o’clock. Traders of the various ethnic groups gather around to sell all kinds of goods, meat, vegetables, fruit, noodles, soya pasta, waffles, local dessert such Kainom made with coconut and sticky rice. We will definitely have the chance to find unique souvenirs produced by hill-tribe and certainly excellent photographic opportunities.

Afterwards we visit the Ethnological Museum, in the old wood and brick building, once the home of the “Little Prince” as it was dubbed the Phanya Sekong who ruled this area in the early 20th century. We will learn the history and the local culture through the collection of traditional tools used by major ethnic groups and some precious religious symbols preserved for centuries by the people of Muang Sing.

Later we transfer to Oudomxai province, home to 23 ethnic groups such as Hmong and Khmu. Because of the condition of the roads in this area the transfer time depends on the weather conditions during the tour and could therefore be some delays. It could happen to witness some landslides along the way and then having to wait for the restoration of viability. …The unexpected events of an authentic adventurous journey. However the landscape is amazing, largely covered by forests, crops and many ethnic villages en route.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets, private transportation

06. LUANG PRABANG - PAK OU

Buddha statues at Pak Ou cavesBuddha statues at Pak Ou caves

The day is dedicated to the transfer to Luang Prabang following a route immersed in an incredible scenery of karst mountains and rice fields. On the way we stop to few villages of Kamu, Thai and H’Mong Dam tribes. We continue to Ban Pakou where we will stop for lunch.

In the afternoon we board for a short cruise to Pak Ou Caves, or “Thousand Buddhas caves“, situated at the confluence of the Mekong and Ou river, one of the most significant visits during your journey in Laos. The sanctuary consists of 2 large cavities in the limestone: Tham Ting, the lower cave (30 steps), and Tham Theung, the higher cave (70 steps). For over thousands of years has been a place of worship and pilgrimage for the faithful who came to pray bringing the gift of an image of Buddha. Following this tradition today both cavities housing thousands of Buddha statues of different sizes, from a few centimeters to about 2 meters, in different styles and spiritual positions (mudra), from meditation to nirvana.

Later we continue to Luang Prabang “City of the Golden Buddha”, the legendary capital of  Lan Xang Kingdom, located on the peninsula at the confluence of Mekong and Nam Khan rivers, UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. 

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets, boat, private transportation 

07. LUANG PRABANG - KUANG SI

Kuang Si waterfallsKuang Si waterfalls

Very early in the morning is worth a visit to the Buddhist daily ritual on the central street of the city where devotees offer food donations to a long line of monks who reciprocate with blessings and prayers. 

After breakfast we visit the National Museum, former Royal Palace, now home to an important collection of precious including Buddha statues and many gifts received from dignitaries visiting the court of Luang Prabang. 

Afterwards we proceed to Wat Sene Souk Haram, the “Temple of the 100,000 treasures”, built in 1718 using 100,000 stones extracted from the Mekong River; to Wat Xieng Thong, “Monastery of the Golden City”, founded in 1560, among the most important of Luang Prabang, known for the elegance and grace of the period architecture; to Wat Visoun, built in 1513, to Wat Aham, “Monastery of the Heart in Bloom”, built at the beginning of the 19th century, and formerly a place of meditation and encounter between the animist and Buddhist culture; to Wat Mai, the “New Monastery”, made in the late 18th century, among the most complex and extended picturesque in town, richly decorated and easily distinguishable for the singular roofs to 5 levels.

We continue to the outskirts of Luang Prabang to visit the amazing Kuang Si waterfall where we can enjoy a swim in the refreshing turquoise waters, explore the trails that penetrate the forest or just relax framed in a beautiful natural setting.

In the late afternoon we climb Mount Phousi to visit the sacred gilded stupa and to enjoy the beautiful panorama and a romantic sunset over the Mekong. In the evening worth a stroll through the Night Market where they found the handicrafts of ethnic minorities in the area.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

08. VANG VIENG

Vang Vieng viewVang Vieng view

In the morning we visit the “TAEC“, The Art and Ethnology Center, the ethnological center, dedicated to more than 20 ethnic groups, committed to the conservation of the arts and lifestyle of the Laos minorities. Active since 2007, it offers visitors professional exhibitions on ethnic cultures and a large collection of artifacts.

Afterwards we continue to Vang Vieng: more than a city is a village where the real attraction of the place is definitely the beautiful karst landscape, and unexplored tunnels and caves, some of whichs have names that occur in the local mythology and it is said that all are inhabited by spirits.

The landscape during the transfer is very interesting and allows us to immerse ourselves in the daily lifestyle of hill-tribe. 

Upon arrival in Vang Vieng we visit Tham Chang cave, the most famous and full of fascinating stories. It was once used as an impregnable refuge during the devastating incursions of predators Chinese from the North. An electrical system now illuminates the way up to the upper cave from where you can see the superb surrounding landscape and the Nam Song River through a slit in the limestone wall.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

09. VIENTIANE

That Luang Stupa © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelThat Luang Stupa

In the morning transfer to Vientiane, the capital that mixes French-colonial architecture with Buddhist temples.

Upon arrival visit the major attractions such as Wat Si Saket, known for thousands of Buddha images that is said preserved the temple during the invasion by Siamese armies in 1828. 

In the afternoon we continue to Wat Ho Prakeo, which once housed the Emerald Buddha, and to That Luang Stupa, considered the most important monument in Laos, which according to local belief houses a relic of Buddha transported to the site in the 3rd century BC.

We conclude the visits at Patuxai, or “Laotian Arc de Triomphe”, the monument of the fallen of all wars.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

10. BOULAVEN PLATEAU

Tad Fan waterfalls © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelTad Fan waterfalls

After breakfast we transfer to Vientiane airport to catch the domestic flight to Pakse, the ancient capital of Champasak Kingdom, today capital of the province and second city of Laos in size and population. 

Continue to Bolaven Plateu located between the Annamite Mountain range and the Mekong, crossed by numerous rivers and framed by a picturesque natural landscape of forests, coffee plantations, tea, cardamom, bananas, and with dozens of waterfalls. The name comes Bolaven ethnicity Laven that has historically dominated this area. At an altitude between 1,000 and 1,350 meters above sea level, the plateu welcomes us with fresh decidedly more pleasant temperatures.

Later we visit the incredible Tad Fan waterfalls among the most impressive with a jump of 120 meters.

In the afternoon we continue with a hike to Dan Sin Say Plateau, crossing the suspension bridge and continuing through coffee plantations and local villages of  Laven, Alak, Katu and Suay tribes.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets, private transportation

11. WAT PHU - 4000 ISLANDS

Wat Phu © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelWat Phu Temple

In the morning we transfer to Champassak to visit the ruins of Wat Phu temple complex dating back to the pre-Angkorian and Angkorian time, at the base of Mount Phu Kao. The temple was built in the 5th century but most of the ruins visible today date from the Angkorian period XI-XIII century. The temple presents a unique structure that leads to a sanctuary at the top level dedicated to the worship of Shiva. Wat Phu is joined UNESCO world heritage since 2001.

In the afternoon we continue to south to Si Phan Don, the area better known as “4000 islands“. At this point the riverbed of the Mekong during the rainy season reaches its maximum width of 12 km.

The place is named “4000 islands” by the special phenomenon that occurs with decreasing water during the “dry” season (Nov-May) which allows many small islands to emerge.

Upon arrival at Don Khong Island free time to discover the area.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation

12. DON KHONE - PAKSE

Li Phi waterfalls © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelLi Phi waterfalls

In the morning we continue to Ban Khone island. In the area we can see a number of references and findings that lead us to the period of the French colony of Indochina, like some old houses and the old railway track and the locomotive built for commercial purposes to bypass the rapids of the Mekong in this area.

We proceed to Li Phi Falls, also known as Samphamith waterfalls, which forms a natural border between Laos and Cambodia.

In the afternoon we return to Ban Nakasang by boat and continue to Khone Phapeng waterfall, the largest in Southeast Asia. 

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation

13. PAKSE - DEPARTURE

Transfer to international airport in time for your departure flight.

(The itinerary can continue to Cambodia through the land border)

Included : Breakfast, private transportation to airport

Itinerary quotation request

Request of information for the itinerary

Angkor, Battambang and Phnom Penh

Please fill up the form on the right also indicating the number of participants, travel period / dates, hotel category preference and guide language.

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