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
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 – Slow boat to Pak Ou Cave and Kuang si falls
At 7:30 am you will meet with a tour guide and embark on your adventure on a private boat cruise upstream the Mekong River. After your cruise (Approx. 1.5 hour) with a brief stop in a Rice Wine making village, you will arrive at Pak Ou Caves. Pak Ou is not only a particular destination but also a place which shelters historic cultural values. Visiting the cave, you will see that this is the home to thousands of Buddhist statues with numerous dimensions. After visiting the cave by slow boat we arrive back into Luang Prabang, you will then be transported by bus to experience the Lao Buffalo Dairy Farm, an inspiring nonprofit organization. Lead by your tour guide, you have the chance to feed the chickens, pigs and buffalo and of course you even have an opportunity to milk a buffalo! After the tour it is time for lunch, whilst enjoying the glorious mountain views your lunch will include a desert of buffalo ice cream and choice of a delicious cake! We continue to the breathtaking Kuang Si waterfalls, the largest in the Luang Prabang. Whilst contemplating the natural beauty, you have the opportunity to take a refreshing swim. Transfer back to hotel in Luang Prabang
Day 3 – : Luang Prabang half day city tour
Today you will be picked up from your hotel at 8:30am then taking the car for the tour to the nearby morning market very popular for fresh vegetable, fish from the Mekong River, medicinal plant and other curiosity. From there cross: – The Wat Mai Suwannaphumaram Monastery built in late 18th century founded by King Anurat (r. 1795-1817) in 1796 and restored in 1821 by the King Manthatourat. Walk to: – The Royal Palace Museum called as Haw Kham the Golden Hall, builds between 1904-1909 blend of Laotian and French Beaux Arts architectural as the new official royal residence for the monarchs of Luang Prabang and converted into a Museum in 1976. Discover the Colonial Architecture, on the way to the Wat Xieng Thong one of the most beautiful temple in the town. Wat Xieng Thong
Ratsavoravihanh built in 1560 – 16th century by The King Setthathilat to commemorate the memory of the Chanthaphanith and Jataka stories from Buddhist cosmology. Xieng Thong Ratsavoravihanh the “Golden City or Golden Tree Monastery” is the most historically significant and impressive of Luang Prabang’s temples a typical Lao Architecture of Luang Prabang. Next, we go to UXO Lao Visitors Centre. In here, you will have a chance to visit and watch some wonderful short movies about the unexploded ordnance, for what Lao PDR is the most heavily bombed country, per capita, in history. Then, we will visit Ock Pok Tok village where you can lear about Traditional weaving and Laos cultures. We finish the tour in your hotel about 12:00pm
Day 4 – Morning Alms Giving Ceremony and transfer to Xieng Khuang (Plain of jars)
At 5:15am, you will be picked up by a tour guide for the Morning Alms Giving experience trip. Rise early to the sound of the temple gong and then join your guide for a walk through the quiet streets. Watch the daily procession of three hundred young monks walk silently by, collecting sticky rice and other foods in their bronze bowls. The ritual is linked to a Buddhist tradition in which monks beg for their daily food as a way to demonstrate humility. Alms Giving 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 monks. After this wonderful experience you will be transferred back to your hotel accommodation for your breakfast at 7:00 am. After breakfast, you will be picked up at your hotel and drive 306km uphill a mountain surrounded by wonderful natural scenery to Xieng Khouang, which was devastated by American bombing between 1964 and 1973. Upon arrival, we transfer out to visit the Plain of Jars site1-2, an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are scattered all over the plateau. If time permits, we see the old capital of Muang Khoun and the nearby villages, home to the Hmong hill tribe people. They have an interesting local culture and a colourful history.
Day 5 – Xieng Khuang – Vang Vieng – Visit Tham Jang cave
Early morning, we visit the Central Market of Phonsavanh to watch the different hilltribe people barter and exchange merchandises. We then head out towards Vang Vieng. Enroute we stop off to see the Buddha images at Thampra, a site more than 200 years old, and various Hmong and hilltribe minority villages along the way. After numerous photo stops, we continue driving, enjoying the splendid natural scenery of the mountains, the forest and landscape. The journey will take us over mountainous regions until we approach Vang Vieng here you will arrive at 12:30 pm where you will check in to your hotel accommodation and enjoy the afternoon at your own leisure.
Day 6 – Vang Vieng to Vientiane
Today is free at leisure time and you will be ready for your pick up service at 9:30am where you will be transferred to your Vientiane hotel accommodation, you can enjoy the afternoon at leisure in beautiful Vientiane.
Day 7 –Vientiane-Half day visit city and Buddha Park
After breakfast, we start to visit Wat Sisaket, the city’s oldest temple. Dates back to 1818, Wat Sisaket is the most important heritage temple now standing in Laos. It houses thousands of Buddha images from many countries, long lost architectural styles, sculptures and paintings; Wat Prakeo, former royal temple of the Lao monarchy and originally built in 1565, is home to the Emerald Buddha image, Buddhist sculptures are displayed along the perimeter wall, including a 6th to 9th century Dvaravati-style stone Buddha and several standing and sitting Buddhas. On the way to the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, stop to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph.
In the afternoon, we take a short drive out of the city to visit the Buddha Park where hundreds of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures brought from India are displayed.
Return to the city and enjoy the sunset on the Mekong River.
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.