ENQUIRE

LAOTIAN LANDSCAPES

Laos is a spiritual country with arguably the most beautiful landscapes in SE Asia. What better place therefore than to explore on foot and by boat. Explore the islands and waterfalls of the south by boat, soak up the history and culture in Vientiane and walk amongst the hill tribes in the north. Finish in Luang Prabang, the UNESCO protected town where the sight of processing monks at dawn will be etched on your memory forever.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Riverside accommodation in beautiful Champasak, Southern Laos.
  • Lunch at Makphet Restaurant, a training restaurant for street kids.
  • Trekking through the forests and lush paddy fields in Northern Laos.
  • Taking a long tail boat down the Nam Ou River.
£4,160
per person

Price from

MELISSA MATTHEWS

Tailor-Made Travel Specialist

VIEW PROFILE

  1. Arrive
  2. Day 1 Pakse - Champasak

    Arrive in Pakse where you will be met and driven approximately one hour to Champasak where you will stay in a charming hotel by the river.

    Overnight: The River Resort

  3. Day 2 Islands & Waterfalls

    A full day exploring the area known locally as Sipandon ('4000 Islands'). In this beautiful area the Mekong River reaches 14 kilometres in width and thousands of small islands dot the waterway. Travel by local boat to the peaceful island of Done Khone, where plantations and simple villages are almost all you will find and you may be lucky enough to spot the rare Irrawaddy Dolphin. We recommend bicycles as the best way to explore, or a tuk-tuk if you prefer. Visit the impressive Lippi falls, on the west of Don Khone and very close to the Cambodian border. After lunch at a local restaurant, head for Khone Papheng waterfalls. This is a wonderful spot to rest and enjoy the view and is the only section of the Mekong which is impossible to navigate by boat - you will see why! Return to Champasak this afternoon, arriving back at your hotel in time for sunset.

    Overnight: The River Resort

  4. Day 3 Wat Phou

    After breakfast your guide will collect you and take you by car approximately 15 minutes to Wat Phou. Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Wat Phou is a spectacular pre-Angkorian temple that sits among the rice fields and waterways of Southern Laos. The temple was built by the rulers of the Khmer empire before the construction of Angkor Wat and this site served as the most important economic and political centre of the region and still is one of the Lao people's most revered temples. Return to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure and you might like to take one of the hotel's bikes out to explore by yourself.

    Overnight: The River Resort

  5. Day 4 Champasak - Vientiane

    Fly to Vientiane this morning, Laos' capital. On arrival your guide will be wiating to drive you to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore Vientiane. You might choose to end your day strolling along the banks of the Mekong River and stopping to enjoy local food from the many stalls along the way. This area is very popular with locals who go to exercise in the park in the evenings and you can also browse the evening market for souvenirs.

    Overnight: Ansara

  6. Day 5 Vientiane

    Today enjoy a guided tour to discover the hidden charms of Vientiane, including the serene Wat Sisaket, Wat Phra Keo with its displays of both Lao and Khmer works of art and Laos' equivalent to the Arc de Triomphe - the Putaxay monumen. Enjoy a delicious Lao-style lunch at Makphet Restaurant before an afternoon at leisure.

    Overnight: Ansara

  7. Day 6 Vientiane - Muang La

    Early start today as you fly 50 minutes to Oudomxay. Once a sleepy town, Oudomxay is now an important trading hub and as you leave it behind you, you will notice the contrast as you head into the unspoiled countryside. This northern region of Laos is very mountainous and green, with rice paddies and plantations dividing areas of thick jungle. You will encounter various tribes on this part of your holiday and even on the drive to the hotel you will pass some villages perched precariously on steep mountainsides and then others in the valleys carved out by ancient rivers. Arrive at the hotel in time for lunch. Check in, relax and enjoy the views.

    Overnight: Muang La Resort

  8. Day 7 Muang La

    This full day tour includes approximately five hours of walking and a transfer of approximately 50 minutes. You will trek along mountain trails, through lush forest and local villages, passing mountain streams and rice fields. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon.

    Overnight: Muang La Resort

  9. Day 8 Villages

    This full day tour includes no 'real trekking', only walking through and between villages. Travelling by 4x4 is the only way to cover enough ground and climb the steep mountains in order to reach the most untouched and fascinating villages in the region. Meet ethnic groups originating from Tibet and Yunnan that have seen very few foreigners. Enjoy a picnic lunch 1,000m above sea level with magnificent views. Return to the resort at the end of the day.

    Overnight: Muang La Resort

  10. Day 9 Muang La - Nong Khiaw

    After breakfast, you will be driven approximately two hours to Muang Khua, a small town on the banks of the Nam Ou River. Here you will board a private long tail boat for a cruise down one of the most scenically beautiful stretches of river in Laos. Compared to the Mekong, the Nam Ou is considered more dramatic and wild and also has far less traffic. Enjoy a picnic lunch along the way and spot various local villages as you cruise downstream. In the late afternoon you will reach your destination of Nong Khiaw, famed for the dramatic limestone mountains which surround it. Disembark and check in to your accommodation on the banks of the Nam Ou River.

    Overnight: Mandala Ou

  11. Day 10 Nong Khiaw - Luang Prabang

    Start the day with a visit to the historical cave of Phathok. The Nong Khiaw villagers used this cave as a war shelter during the "Secret War", to shelter people from bombs dropped in the region. It is about 30 minutes walk from Nong Khiaw town and follows beautiful sceneries and great vistas in the surrounding tropical mountains. Drive on to Pak Ou Village in time for lunch at a local restaurant. Later, cross the Mekong by local boat to visit the famous Pak Ou Caves; filled with thousands of gold-lacquered Buddha statues and a destination for local pilgrimages. After visiting the caves, sail in a covered motorized long boat down the Mekong to Luang Prabang town. Arrive in the late afternoon and transfer to your hotel.

    Overnight: The 3 Nagas

  12. Day 11 Luang Prabang

    Your tour of the Historical Old Town begins at the National Museum. Once the Royal Palace of Laos, the National Museum is filled with art, artefacts, and jewels and a visit examines the history and rich culture of the country. Visit some of the city's most important temples such as Wat Visoun, Wat Aham and Wat Xieng Thong, the most revered temple in Luang Prabang. Enjoy lunch in town at Tamarind restaurant where you will have a chance to sample unusual local specialties. This afternoon, head to Ock Pop Tok to experience textiles in Laos - the history, methods, and cultural significance to the Lao people. Take a break at Le Patio Cafe, located inside the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center (TAEC), and sip a local brew of coffee. Then, take a tour of TAEC, a museum dedicated to exploring the rich diversity of Laos' ethnic minorities. Traditional costumes, tools, and artifacts are on display alongside in-depth descriptions and written histories. As the day comes to an end, climb the stairs of Mount Phousi and watch the sun set over the city and surrounding hills. Walk down the other side and explore the hill tribe evening market.

    Overnight: The 3 Nagas

  13. Day 12 Waterfalls & Bears

    For early risers, there is a very special dawn visit to watch the monks collecting alms. As the sun begins to rise, long lines of orange-robed monks leave their pagodas and walk barefoot down the streets collecting offerings from Luang Prabang residents. It is a beautiful, serene ceremony that highlights the spiritualism of the Laos people. After breakfast at your hotel you will be driven through the Luang Prabang countryside to Kuang Si Waterfalls (32km southwest of the city). The jungle and dense woods surrounding the falls is perfect for exploring on foot and the turquoise pools are perfect for a swim. Before you leave you might like to visit the bear sanctuary which is next to the falls, run by Free The Bears Fund Inc. There are currently 23 Asiatic Black Bears living in the sanctuary.

    Overnight: The 3 Nagas

  14. Day 13 Luang Prabang

    Today is entirely at leisure with no structure or plans so that you can relax and feel re-energised before you go home.

    Overnight: The 3 Nagas

  15. Day 14 Depart

    Private transfer to the airport for your departure flight home.

  16. Depart

Currency
Low £ 4,160 $ 5,810 € 4,921
Mid £ 5,460 $ 7,626 € 6,459
High £ 6,500 $ 9,078 € 7,689

BOOKING NOTES

  • Based on two people sharing a twin/double room throughout.

INCLUSIONS

  • All accommodation as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Daily breakfast.
  • Private transfers throughout.
  • All sightseeing, entrance fees and guide services as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Internal flights where detailed in the itinerary.

EXTRAS

  • International flights.
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary.
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, gratuities (discretionary).
  • Entrance fees and excursions not specifically mentioned as included.
  • Travel insurance or visa fees.
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