Highlights of Laos
LAOS TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
Set in between Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and China, land-locked Laos retains a uniqueness that is felt all through the country. Discover glittering Buddhist temples, breath-taking landscapes and most importantly of all, authenticity, in an area where most countries have felt the effects of mass tourism on their way of life. Join other solo travellers on our fabulous 8-day Highlights of Laos Tour. Start your tour in magical Luang Prabang, home to cascading waterfalls and caves filled with Buddhist statues, it is here that you will witness the morning alms giving ceremony; a famous Buddhist tradition involving hundreds of young monks every day. Travel to picturesque Vang Vieng and experience the most beautiful sunrise on the Nam Song River. And finally, stop off in the country’s capital, Vientiane, where old French villas have been transformed into stylish bakeries and restaurants – the perfect place to relax and end your Laos tour.
Take a dip in the refreshing turquoise pools of the Kuang Si Waterfall
Watch the monks alms giving ceremony in Luang Prabang
Admire the beautiful landscapes from up high in Vang Vieng
Discover colonial architecture in the country’s capital, Vientiane
Day 1 – Arrive Luang Prabang (D)
Upon arrival, make your way to your hotel, centrally located in Luang Prabang. You will be able to check-in from 2pm. The rest of the day will be at your leisure. To kick start your Laos tour, a dinner will be arranged in the evening at a traditional Laotian restaurant. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 2 – Luang Prabang / Pak Ou Cave / Kuang Si Waterfalls (B, L)
Leaving early this morning, you will embark upon an adventure up the Mekong River. It will take approximately 1.5 hours by private boat to reach the Pak Ou Caves, which are filled with thousands of Buddhist statues of various shapes and sizes. After visiting the cave, we will go by slow boat back to Luang Prabang, and then by bus onto the Lao Buffalo Dairy Farm, an inspiring non-profit organisation. Whilst you’re there, you will have the chance to feed the chickens, pigs and buffalo, as well as the opportunity to milk a buffalo! After the tour you will have some lunch whilst enjoying the glorious mountain views – dessert will be buffalo ice cream with a delicious cake! In the afternoon, we’ll visit the breath-taking Kuang Si Waterfalls, the largest in Luang Prabang. You can take a swim in the refreshing pools of the waterfalls so don’t forget your swimsuits! Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 3 – Luang Prabang (B)
After breakfast we will begin our half day city tour of Luang Prabang. The tour will include a visit to the 18th century Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham Monastery, the Royal Palace Museum, and the Wat Xieng Thong, one of the most beautiful temples in town. Admire the colonial architecture as we continue our tour to the UXO Lao Visitors Centre to learn about the issue of unexploded bombs that remain in the Laos countryside; the country is the most heavily bombed per capita in the world. Afterwards, we’ll visit the Ock Pok Tok Village where you can learn about traditional Laos culture. You will then have some free time for lunch and further exploring. In the late afternoon, you will depart for a sunset cruise on the Mekong River. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 4 – Luang Prabang / Xieng Khouang / Plain of Jars (B)
This morning you will be getting up very early to go and watch something very special; the morning alms giving ceremony. Walk through the quiet streets and watch as a procession of 300 young monks walk silently by, collecting sticky rice and other food in their bowls. The ritual is linked to a Buddhist tradition in which monks beg for their daily food as a way of demonstrating humility. Almsgiving is an important religious act in Buddhism and it must be carried out respectfully by locals and tourists alike. If you would like to be involved in the offering of food, your guide will be more than happy to show you the best way to interact with the monks. Afterwards, we’ll head back to the hotel for breakfast and check-out. We will then drive 300km uphill, surrounded by beautiful scenery until we reach Xieng Khouang, an area devasted by American bombing during the Vietnam War. Upon arrival, we will visit the Plain of Jars, an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are scattered all over the plateau. If time permits, we will see the old capital of Muang Khoun and the nearby villages that are home to the H’mong hill tribes. Overnight in Xieng Khouang.
Day 5 – Xieng Khouang / Vang Vieng / Tham Jang Cave (B)
After breakfast, we will visit the Central Market of Phonsavanh to watch the different hill tribes barter and exchange merchandise. We’ll then continue our journey to Vang Vieng, stopping off to see the Buddha images in Thampra on the way. In the afternoon, we’ll head to the Tham Jang Cave, one of the most famous in Vang Vieng. It was once used as a hide out by villagers during the civil war and offers incredible views of the town and surrounding area below. Overnight in Vang Vieng.
Day 6 – Vang Vieng / Vientiane (B)
Before the sun comes up this morning, we’ll be heading out to catch a long tail boat for an hours’ cruise along the Nam Song River. Here you will see a beautiful sunrise with the most picturesque scenery of Vang Vieng. Afterwards, head back to your hotel for breakfast and check-out. You will then be transferred to your last destination, Vientiane. You will have some free time to relax on arrival. Overnight in Vientiane.
Day 7 – Vientiane / Buddha Park (B)
After breakfast, we’ll be heading to the Patuxai Monument, Laos’ version of the Arc de Triomphe, where you can climb to the top for incredible panoramic views of the city. Afterwards, we’ll be visiting That Luang, or ‘the great stupa’, the holiest site in Laos. In the afternoon we’ll visit the Buddha Park, which is filled with more than 200 Buddhist and Hindu statues. Overnight in Vientiane.
Day 8 – Depart Vientiane
Depending on your flight schedule, you may have some free time today before you need to depart for the airport to catch international flights home.
WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE LAOS TOUR
- Sharing a twin room at 3-star hotels with breakfast
- Transportation in private vehicles
- Services of English-speaking local guides throughout
- Entrance fees to sites as mentioned in itinerary
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED IN THE LAOS TOUR
- International flights
- All other meals, plus drinks
- Excursions or entrance fees during free time
- Tipping of guides and drivers
- Visa fees (around $35)
- Up to eight weeks before departure, a place can be reserved on the Highlights of Laos Tour on payment of a deposit of £150.00, after this date it would be the full amount of the trip.
- Click the book now button and fill in the details and tick the box confirming you accept booking conditions.
- The outstanding balance is due 6 weeks before travel.
- Please ensure you have checked visa requirements. Get in touch if you are unsure.
- Ensure you have purchased travel insurance, as this is mandatory for all trips.
- International flights are not included and will need to be organised separately. Please do not book flights until we give the go-ahead. If you would like flight suggestions or help with booking, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Trip Type Cultural
Group Size Between 5-12
Physical Rating Moderate
Currency & Spending Money Lao Kip / Spending £20 and upwards per day
Hosts One of our local guides will be your main point of contact throughout the trip. They will meet you at the airport and stay with you for the duration of the tour. Our guides are very knowledgeable, if you need anything at all, just ask them!
Clothing Laos is an all-year-round destination, it’s generally hot and humid, so you will need light, loose-fitting clothing to keep cool. It does get colder in the evenings so it’s advisable to take a couple of layers. The temperatures also vary depending where you are in the country, as altitudes vary dramatically here. The rainy season is from May to late September, but downpours are generally short lived. Be prepared with a light rain jacket – you won’t need anything too thick, because despite the rain it remains warm. Take comfortable walking shoes as well as sandals, and don’t forget swimsuits if you want to go for a dip in the waterfalls!
Health Always seek medical advice from your doctor or travel nurse before you travel and make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date, especially when travelling to Asia. Remember that your travel insurance may not cover you if you do not have up-to-date vaccinations.
Single Supplement £199
Travel Advice We highly recommend that you read the foreign travel advice for Laos before your departure date.