A Glimpse of Laos - 8 Days
- Country: Laos
- Your Guide: English Speaking
- Travel Style: Cultural & Classic
- Tour Type: Private Tour
- Start: Vientiane, Laos
- Finish: Luang Prabang, Laos
You will visit
Welcome to Vientiane - the fascinating capital of Laos. Tour briefing and transfer to city centre. You have a brief day tour of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket, the temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. On the way to Lao’s national precious heritage, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, you stop enroute to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. Enjoy dinner at the local restaurant.
In the morning; visit Morning Market, first market in Vientiane. It is very famous for its superior silk weaving, metal work, and woodcarving. Then drive about 3 hours to Vang Vieng - once a key military airfield during the Indochina wars. On the way, you have chance to admire and observe the rural life, visit Ban Houeimo, the fisher village. Upon arrival in Vang Vieng, check-in at the hotel. In the afternoon take a small boat about 30 minutes (2 persons per boat) to visit the biological gardens down Nam Song River. Visit the natural cave of Tham Chang and later, explore Vang Vieng Township.
Today, you drive ahead to Phonsavan, known for the Plain of Jars, about 6-7hours drive that passes through splendid scenery and past many panoramic lookout points on the winding mountaintop road. There are several stops en route to take in the scenery. Upon arrival in Phonsavan, check in hotel and then visit the old capital of Muang Khun and nearby villagers. Overnight in Phonsavan.
Visit the local market where the ethnic minorities (Thai Dam, Hmong, and Phuan) from the surrounding villages gather every morning. Then visit the mysterious Plain of Jars (site 1 which features 250 jars weighing from 600 kg to one ton). The jars have been fashioned from solid stone, most from a tertiary conglomerate known as molasses, akin to sandstone, and a few from granite. Several theories have been advanced as to the functions of the jars (burial urns, wine fermenters, rice storage), but there is no evidence confirming one theory over the other. Return to Phonesavan.
Today, you will depart Phonsavan to Luang Prabang. It is about 5 hour driver. Arrive in Luang Prabang in the afternoon and have a half day guide tour, including the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun, the shrine of Wat Aham and Wat Mai with five tiered roofs. Climb to Phousi Hill to enjoy a beautiful sunset view of the city and its glowing reflection on the Mekong River. There are 329 steps leading you on zigzag way past various temples to the sacred, gilded stupa of Wat Phousi at the summit.
This morning, you continue to explore Luang Prabang with the city’s oldest temples of Wat Sene and Wat Xieng Thong. Wat Sene Souk Haram or literally "Temple of a 100 000 treasures" is one of the most beautiful temples in Luang Prabang, singular by its restored painting of a deep ochre colour, flamboyant and glittering with gold. Wat Xieng Thong is a magnificent piece of architecture, which nestles at the meeting of the Mekong and the Nam Khan River. The temple structures are decorated in various ways with gilded stuccoes as well as doorways and the main sim has a marvelous 'tree life' mosaic pattern on an outer wall.
Then board a traditional riverboat for a trip upstream the Mekong River to visit the famous caves of Pak Ou housing thousands of statues representing Lord Buddha. And then, visit Ban Xang Hai; the village is famous for distillation of traditional rice alcohol. It used to be more famous for the big jars it is stored in, which they've been making there for over 2000 years. Afterwards, walk around Ban Pak Ou Village, a small Laotian fishermen’s village on the Mekong River, and continue to Ban Muang Keo village, where you will see the production of coloured fabric, which is woven on simple weaving looms. Return to Luang Prabang by boat.
Breakfast at your hotel and visit the National Museum, once a king’s palace. Displayed inside is a lovely collection of personal artifacts of the royal family, including photos, musical instruments, and many gifts received from the dignitaries of foreign countries.
After that, leave the city for an one hour drive to Kuang Si waterfall. The waterfalls tumble over multi - tiered limestone formations into cool, clear pools ideal for swimming and relaxing. The water here has a clear blue-green tint due to the high mineral content. You can climb the stairs and look down from various high viewpoints on the way to the top! Return to Luang Prabang by late afternoon and continue to Ban Xangkhong, a village well known for silk handweaving and for traditional Saa Paper making.
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. You will visit the morning Phosi Market where you will see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings.
- Accommodation based on twin/double sharing with daily breakfast (3* hotel category).
- Experienced English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary.
- Private transportation with AC.
- All sightseeing tickets.
- Lunches and dinners as indicated in the itinerary.
- Taxes and services charges.
- International flight tickets and airport tax.
- Visa stamping fee.
- Early check in and late check out.
- Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses.
The tour rate is based on twin/double sharing rooms at 3* hotel category. We can customize this tour according to your request. Our travel consultant will contact you within 12 hours with a tailor-made itinerary and price.
A minimum deposit of 30% of the full amount is required to confirm your booking. The balance will be settled before or upon arrival.
Clothing & Packing Tips
- We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket.
- A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
- Waterproof shoes or sandals, a swimsuit, sunscreen, and insect repellent are recommended for outdoor activities.
- It is preferable not to visit temples or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
- Free Wi-Fi is available in most hotels.
- You can buy 4G data simcard at the airport, the price is very low.
- Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
- You will use the Vietnamese dong in Vietnam, Cambodian riel (or U.S. dollars) in Cambodia, and the Kip(Lak) in Laos.
- In Cambodia, U.S. dollars are accepted everywhere, though change may be given in riel. Most hotels, restaurants, shops, taxis, buses, and airlines list their prices in U.S. dollars, but small transactions (less than a dollar) are usually conducted in riel. Always carry small amounts of riel for motorcycle taxis, snacks, and other small purchases.
- Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
- We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
- You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
- International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
- At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your tour guide and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
- We recommend tipping the equivalent of $10USD to $15USD per day for your tour guide and the equivalent of $5USD to $10USD per day for your driver.
- Tips can only be paid in cash.
If you have any specific food requirement (vegetarian, vegan, food allergies, etc.) please inform us in advance, we will provide notices to our restaurants, tour guides and partners so they would be able to serve you the best.
We apply non refundable deposit of 10 USD for hotel, air ticket booking, 100 USD/per person for tour package upon service confirmation. Cancellations will be charged as following:
- 30 days before arrival: No cancellation charge.
- 29 - 14 days before arrival: 10% of the tour cost is forfeited.
- 13 - 7 days before arrival: 40% of the tour cost is forfeited.
- 6 days before arrival: 100 % of the tour cost is forfeited.
- No show: 100% of the tour cost is forfeited.
- Infant under 2-years-old free of charge land tour and 25% of airfare.
- Child under 12-years-old sharing room with adult without extra bed charge 50% of adult land tour and 75% of airfare.
- Child under 12-years-old sharing room with adult with bed charge 80% of adult land tour and 75% of airfare.
- Upon 12-years-old - 100% charge of tour cost.