BEST OF LAOS 
 

Length

10 DAYS

Type of tour

CULTURE/NATURE

Type of service

PRIVATE

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TRIP OVERVIEW

Best of  Laos is a classic and complete example of tour developed in 10 days which allows to visit the most important attractions combining extraordinary cultural visits, nature, following a route from Luang Prabang to the south of the country. 

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 Phonsavan, to learn about the mysterious jars at and to Vientiane, the capital that mixes French-colonial architecture with Buddhist temples such as the national symbol Pha That Luang.

Explore 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. 

The itinerary is developed from Luang Prabang 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

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY

Length : 10D 09N
From : LUANG PRABANG
To :PAKSE (or continue to Cambodia)
Destinations : Luang Prabang, Xieng Khouang, Vientiane, Pakse, Plateau Bolaven, Tad Lo, Champassak, Don Khong, 4000 island

ITINERARY

01. ARRIVE IN LUANG PRABANG - CITY TOUR

Luang Prabang view - LaosLuang Prabang view

Arrive in Luang Prabang and transfer to the Hotel.

In the afternoon we begin the visits to the main attractions in town. Visit Wat Visoun, built in 1513 and 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. Continue 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.

Later 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 : Private pick up from them airport, tour guide, tickets, private transportation and hotel

02. LUANG PRABANG - PAK OU CAVE

Buddha statues at Pak Ou cavesBuddha statues at Pak Ou caves

After breakfast we continue the visits to Wat Sene Souk Haram, the “Temple of the 100,000 treasures”, built in 1718 using 100,000 stones extracted from the Mekong River, and 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.

Afterwards we transfer to the pier and board for a river cruise to Pakbeng. On the way we stop at Pak Ou Caves, or “Thousand Buddhas cave”, 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.

While sailing we admire the typical Laotian rural natural landscape and the local way of life. Stop in some local villages including Ban Xang Hai known for the production of Lao Lao, the famous “whiskey” rice, Ban Xang Kong and Ban Xieng Lek, specialized in ancient textile tradition and mulberry paper production, and Ban Phanom.

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

03. KUANG SI AND LOCAL VILLAGES

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. An ancient religious tradition that manifests itself so remarkable only in Luang Prabang.

After breakfast we continue to Phosi market and to the minority villages Ban Ouay (H’mong tribe), Ban Ou (Laoloum tribe), Ban Thapene and other Khmu tribe villages. We continue with the hike to the beautiful Kuang Si waterfalls with stops along the way in some other minority villages.

A natural basin upstream and a steep slope generate this natural wonder that develops in 3 levels of which the upper one has a fall of 60 meters. Downstream form several natural pools that offer an irresistible opportunity for a refreshing swim in the turquoise waters. Nearby waterfalls there is the possibility of a walk in the paths through the forest and the villages of ethnic minority Hmong and Khmu.

We conclude the day with a beautiful sunset from the temple Wat Phabath.

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

04. PLAIN OF JARS

Plain of jarsPlain of Jars

In the morning 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. We continue along the quiet streets of the town bordered by buildings from the French colonial period to admire the architecture and learn about their original function. 

Later we transfer to Xieng Khoang, a highly affected province by American bombing during the Second Indochina War (Vietnam War).

The route is scenically exciting and reflects the authentic landscape of Laos. It isn’t common to encounter many other tourists around here. The journey is a bit long but we will make several stops where there will be interesting photographic opportunities.

We reach the Plain of Jars, the archaeological site of considerable size where hundreds of large jars are set back on the big plateau. Archaeologists claim that the jars are dated about 2000 years but still have not found a concrete explanation to their actual use, which have been used as funerary urns or simply to contain the famous rice wine. 

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

05. VIENTIANE

Buddha Park © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelBuddha Park

After breakfast visit the local colourful market in Phonsavan. Afterwards transfer to Vientiane, the capital that mixes French-colonial architecture with Buddhist temples.

In the afternoon transfer to Wat Xieng Khouan, also known as Buddha Park. In 1958 the Buddhist-Hindu religious Boun Léua had built numerous sculptures inspired to Buddhist and Hindu religions with the aim to “unite” the two creeds through a work of art. Of particular note are the 40 mt long statue of reclining Buddha and sculpture shaped head which allows access to a higher level, to symbolize the transition from hell to heaven, which offers an interesting view of the park.

At the end we return back in town and enjoy a spectacular sunset over the Mekong River.

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

06. VIENTIANE

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

In the morning we 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.

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. Proceed to Patuxai, or “Laotian Arc de Triomphe”, the monument of the fallen of all wars.

In the afternoon we continue the visits in the capital on foot to the temples Wat Ong Tue, Wat Inpeng and Wat Haisok.

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

07. WAT PHU - DON KHONG

Wat Phu © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelWat Phu Temple

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. 

Upon arrival continue 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, private transportation

08. DON KHONE - LI PHI WATERFALLS

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.

Later we proceed to Li Phi waterfalls, 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 south to Khone Phapeng waterfall, the largest in Southeast Asia. 

Return to Done Khong island and overnight.

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

09. BOLAVEN PLATEU

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

In the morning we 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.

In the afternoon we continue to Tad Lo village where we visit the famous waterfalls. The area is inhabited by many tribal ethnicities. We visit some minorities villages such as Alak, Nge, and Katu.

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

10. 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

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