NATURE TOUR IN LAOS 
 

Length

18 DAYS

Type of tour

NATURE

Type of service

PRIVATE

REQUEST QUOTATION

TRIP OVERVIEW

Nature Tour in Laos is undoubtedly among the less conventional routes as in addition to the most popular destinations it extends to remote provinces off-the-beaten-track in the north and in the center. 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. 

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 Luang.

Discover the norther Laos at Luang Namtha, home to 23 ethnic groups, hike to tribal villages to learn about traditions and life style, and explore the incredible Konglor cave in center Laos.

The entire itinerary is developed overland, 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 : 18D 17N
From : LUANG PRABANG
To :PAKSE (or continue to Cambodia)
Destinations : Luang Prabang, Pakbeng, Luang Namtha, Oudomxai, Muang Sing, Muang La, Muong Ngoy, Xieng Khouang, Vang Vieng, Vientiane, Konglor, Pakse, Plateau Bolaven, Tad Lo, Champassak, Don Khong, 4000 island

ITINERARY

01. ARRIVE IN LUANG PRABANG

Arrive in Luang Prabang and transfer to the Hotel.

Included : Private pick up from them airport, private transportation and hotel

02. LUANG PRABANG

National MuseumNational Museum

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 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. 

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; to Wat Phonphao known for beautiful architecture, on the small hill which offers a great view of Luang Prabang.

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 

03. KUANG SI AND LOCAL VILLAGES

Kuang Si waterfallsKuang Si waterfalls

In the morning transfer to Ban Long Lao and visit the Khmu ethnic villages Ban Long Lao and Nung Ban Long Lao Song. Learn about the local lifestyle of the two ethnic groups, culturally very different, but able to share the same environment, work and school.

We continue to the outskirts of Luang Prabang to visit the amazing Kuang Si waterfall. On the way we take a short guided tour (about 40 minutes) to Buffalo Dairy Farm and continue with the visit of some villages inhabited by ethnic minorities.

Once at Kuang Si waterfalls you 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.

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

04. PAK OU CAVE - PAKBENG

Buddha statues at Pak Ou cavesBuddha statues at Pak Ou caves

After breakfast 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.

Later we stop at Ban Baw village known for its production of “lao whiskey”, the alcoholic drink made from fermented rice.
Arrive in Pakbeng before sunset.

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

05. OUDOMXAI - LUANG NAMTHA

Laos © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelRemote areas of Laos

In the morning we visit the local market in Pakbeng, an interesting experience to see one of the observe the daily life of the hill-tribes.

Afterwards we begin the transfer to Luang Namtha through the mountainous and remote areas of northern Laos.

Along the way we will make multiple stops in the villages in Oudomxay province, home to 23 ethnic groups such as Hmong and Khmu.

In the afternoon he continues the transfer to Luang Namtha.

Included : Guesthouse, breakfast, tour guide, private transportation

06. 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 mountain tribal villages, the stupa Chieng Tung, Ban Nam Ded and Ban Nam Mai villages.

Afterwards we continue to the guesthouse at Muang Sing.

Included : Guesthouse, breakfast, tour guide, private transportation 

07. MUANG LA

Remote-village-LaosHill tribe village

In the morning visit Muang Sing village. Afterwards we begin the transfer to Muang La, the rural village dominated by the temple Pha Chiao Sing Kham.

Arrival in the afternoon and accommodation at local guesthouse.

Visit the neighbourhood to learn about the lifestyle of Khamu tribe.

We procedd to the holy shrine Pha Chiao Sing Kham, an important reference for the local pilgrimage.

Included : Guesthouse, breakfast, tour guide and private transportation 

08. TREKKING PAK KHAI AND BAN PHAVIE

Rural area LaosRural area Laos

In the morning we transfer to Pak Khai following a path which offers magnificent views over Pak Nam river, terraced rice fields and small villages on the river bank.

Upon arrival we start the trekking on the trail follows the stream that meanders through the lush vegetation.

You will have the opportunity to meet the locals who work in the paddy fields, hunt and fish in the mountain stream. Continuing we enter into the rainforest. After about 1h30m we reach the Ban Phavie village on top of the hill inhabited by Khamu tribe.

In the afternoon we continue to visit some waterfalls. Weather permitting we take advantage of a refreshing bath to relax lulled by the gentle breeze and tranquil waterfalls.

Around 2.30 pm we set off for the return trip to Muang La.

Included : Guesthouse, breakfast, picnic lunch, tour guide, trekking permit and private transportation 

09. MUONG KHOUA – MUONG NGOY

Hill tribe LaosHill tribe

After breakfast we transfer to the pier of Muang Khoua and board on a traditional boat for transfer by river to Muang Ngoy.

Sailing slowly on Nam Ou river we cross the incredible natural scenery of this area of Laos, almost untouched by tourism, observing the daily life of the inhabitants who live near the river.

In the afternoon we reach Ban Sopjam village. Accommodation at homestay and visit of the village.

Included : Homestay, breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner, tour guide and private transportation 

10. NONG KHIAW – LUANG PRABANG

Following breakfast we visit Muong Ngoy Neau village.

Later we continue the transfer by boat to Nong Khiaw and then by car to Luang Prabang through a scenic area.

On the way visit to the tribal village of Ban Na Yang inhabited by the Thai Lui tribe. 

Upon arrival in Luang Prabang accommodation in hotels.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide and private transportation 

11. PLAIN OF JARS

Plain of jarsPlain of Jars

In the morning 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 

12. VANG VIENG

Vang Vieng viewVang Vieng view

In the morning visit Phonsavan market where we have the chance to meet different tribes who travel daily to exchange their goods.

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. On the way stop at Thampra, for the visit to the image of Buddha build more than 200 years ago, and to some villages of the Hmong minority.

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 

13. 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 

14. KONG LOR CAVE

Kong Lor cave © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelKong Lor cave

In the morning we begin transfer to the south towards Khammouane province. On the way we visit the interesting Ban Ton Na Mae Hmong Market.

During the journey we are accompanied by a backdrop of stunning limestone mountains, local villages and rice paddies. Stop at the view point at Khoun Kham to admire the striking beauty scenery.

Upon arrival at Ban Konglor we board a small boat to cruise inside the incredible 7 km long Kong Lor cave. Slowly we are swallowed up by the darkness of  the the tunnel of incredible dimensions that reach up to 100 meters in height.

As we move the boat’s beacon allows us to glimpse the walls carved by the flow of the river over millions of years. It is only a foretaste of what awaits us at the halfway point where we will be able to dock and visit on foot the incredible and gigantic stalactites and stalagmites. 

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

15. BOLAVEN PLATEU

Bolaven Plateu © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelBolaven Plateu

After breakfast we continue our journey south towards Savanakhet. Visit to the French Quarter and Savanakhet That Inhang Stupa. Afterwards we proceed to the Soundra Salt Factory.

In the afternoon we visit Don Khor, a village specialising in Buddhist religious engravings for the temples, and in the evening we reach the Bolaven Plateau. Accommodation at the hotel.

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

16. BOLAVEN PLATEU - CHAMPASSAK

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

In the morning we visit 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 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.

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

17. 4000 ISLANDS

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

In the morning we continue 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. 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 in Ban Khone and the old railway track and the locomotive built for commercial purposes to bypass the rapids of the Mekong in this area.

In the afternoon we continue with the visit of Li Phi Falls, also known as Samphamith waterfalls, which forms a natural border between Laos and Cambodia. At the end we continue to Ban Nakasang where we visit the Khone Phapeng waterfall, the largest in Southeast Asia. 

Transfer to Done Khong island and overnight.

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

18. 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

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Angkor, Battambang and Phnom Penh

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