This new Laos itinerary allows you to venture through incredibly off-the-beaten-path small towns, which are brimming with authentic experiences! Rather than flying across Laos, this unique journey connects North and South Laos with stunning drives and a treasure trove of natural beauty.
Luang Prabang is considered the jewel of Indochina, and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day Trip To Kuang Si Waterfalls & Organic Farm A 1hr drive southwards takes you to one of Luang Prabang’s most picturesque sights…Kuang Si Waterfall. En route halt at Phosy market…observe locals trading in fresh produce. Hike leisurely through the national park to Kuang Si Waterfall. Perhaps venture going up to the main waterfall and even swim in a large pool. Enjoy a picnic lunch before transfering by car to the Living Lands Organic Farm. Here, meet up with a local farming guide, where you will be invited to interact and experience step-by-step the rice harvesting operation; see also how different tools are created. End with a tasting of traditional foods using rice. You will leave with a new appreciation for rice, and an admiration for the Lao people who yet continue to harvest rice without modern machinery. Return to your hotel by mid-day.
Highlights Of Luang Prabang & Morning Alms Giving Ceremony Arrange an optional pre-dawn start with your guide (0530 hrs) to witness Tak Bat, or alms-giving ceremony, to hundreds of saffron-clad monks – an awe-inspiring ancient ritual. Visit a bustling morning market before returning to your hotel for breakfast. Take a guided audio tour of the Royal Palace Museum, housing precious possessions of the former Lao Royal family. Explore various architectural feats, including 19th century Wat Xiengthong Temple, and Wat Visoun, nicknamed the watermelon stupa. Gain insight into the ethnic culture at the Arts and Ethnology Center, and head to the textile villages of Ban Xangkhong and Ban Xienglek. Venture to the monk school of Wat Siphouthabath to interact with a young monk and ascend 328 steps up Mount Phousi to watch the sunset over the Mekong. Kindly note that the Royal Palace is closed on Tuesdays.
Panoramic views await! The sleepy town of Nong Khiaw is located right on the banks of the Nam Ou River and is known for being one of the most picturesque settlements in the area.
Nam Ou River Day Trip from Nong Khiaw Enjoy a scenic river cruise! After breakfast, set sail aboard a private vessel on the scenic Nam Ou River. As you cruise up the river the beautiful and enchanting landscapes will take your breath away! On your way, stop at the ethnic villages of Ban Sop Khing and Ban Sop Jaem. Only accessible by boat, these villages offer fascinating insights into the daily life of ethnic minorities. Stop for lunch at the fishing village of Muang Ngoi where you can also enjoy a leisurely amble. By mid-afternoon, you will arrive at Nong Khiaw, where you can spend the rest of your day at leisure.
Vientiane, located in the Mekong Valley, is the small, quiet and picturesque capital city of Laos.
En route Activity (Vientianne-Hin Boun)-Prabaht Ponsan & Khammoune Set out early from Vientiane and travel southwards to reach Khammouane. On the way, stop to see the Prabhat Ponsan stupa area that is believed to bear an imprint made by the foot of Buddha. Enjoy lunch and a stopover at the lively Ban Ton Na Mae Hmong Market. You will witness breathtaking views of the surrounding karst landscape from a viewpoint near Khoun Kham. Continue to Ban Thabuk (the bomb boat village), where old casing from the Vietnam War has been used to manufacture boats. In the late afternoon, end your journey in Hin Boun, where you spend the rest of your day at leisure.
Sights & Sounds Tour of Vientiane Enjoy a half day city tour starting with a leisurely stroll in Vientiane, a quaint and easygoing town. Admire French colonial architecture betwixt beautifully gilded temples. Start with a visit to Wat Sisaket, the oldest surviving Siamese temple containing over 8,000 Buddha statues, followed by the erstwhile royal temple of Wat Ho Phra Keo, former home of the Emerald Buddha statue, now serving as a museum of arts and antiques. Then, travel up Lanexang Avenue for photographic moments of the Patouxay monument or Arc de Triomphe, commemorating the dead of past wars – uncannily similar to its Paris sibling. Climb to the top for panoramic views of Vientiane. Continue on along Rue Singha 23 to Laos
Picturesque and tranquil, Hin boun is located in the Khammouane district of central Laos, right in the heart of an eponymous nature reserve known for its natural wonders.
En route Activity (Hin Boun-Thakek)-Kong Lor Cave Explore mysterious caves! After a hearty breakfast, drive down to the Kong Lor village where you will find a private boat waiting to take you to the famous Kong Lor caves. Your guide will navigate you safely through the seven kilometer long cave, where you can stop to explore the spectacular stalagmite gallery on foot. Once you reach the other side of the cave, take a short walk to see the remote Ban Pom Ngam village. After you return through the cave, a car will drive you to Thakek. Arrive by late afternoon, just in time for a leisurely stroll where you can enjoy a stunning sunset over Mekong River.
Thakhek is the capital of the Khammouane province in central Laos and is located on the banks of the mighty Mekong River that forms the boundary between Laos and Thailand.
Tham Pa Fa Cave Visit (En Route From Thakek) Start early in the morning from your accommodation in Thakhek for your drive to Savannakhet. En route, you will visit the Tham Pa Fa (Buddha Cave), which has 229 centuries-old bronze statues. Only rediscovered in April 2004, this incredibly picturesque cave sits high atop a limestone cliff and offers magnificent views of the surrounding landscape. Continue southwards on your journey to arrive at Savannakhet by lunchtime. In the afternoon, set forth to visit the old French Quarters and the sacred That Inhang Stupa, before checking into your hotel. You can spend the rest of your day at leisure.
Champasak is a quaint and unique riverside province in southern Laos.
Mekong Boat Trip Post breakfast, board a local private boat for a tour of Si Phan Don – 4,000 Islands. Reach the picturesque island of Don Khone with French colonial era remnants. Explore the island on bicycle, tracing the route of an old abandoned railway and admiring the beautiful Liphi waterfall or Corridor of the Devil. Locals lay fish traps at the bottom to catch fresh fish. Return to the boat heading back to the mainland. Visit the spectacular Khone Phapheng Falls, one of the largest and most powerful waterfalls in Southeast Asia, stretching an impressive 10 kilometers. From here, one of the few places in the world where this is possible, board a boat on the Mekong to see rare ‘Irrawaddy’ freshwater dolphins, that reside in deep pools near the Cambodian border, and if lucky, you may just catch a glimpse. Return to Khong Island by car, arriving late afternoon.
My trip to Laos ,as well as Burma and India, with Enchanting Travels, was terrific. Wonderful guides, chauffeurs and a great itinerary full of fun and famous sites and activities as well plenty of free time to roam on your own.