Dig deep into the cultural treasures that Laos has to offer on this 7 day, custom tailored trip! Begin in Luang Prabang, soaking in the sights and incense smells of the temples, learning about monastery life and the local culinary scene. Enjoy the famous turquoise waters of the multi-tiered Kuang Si Waterfall, before adventuring to the 4,000 Islands for an utterly unique geographical landscape. Soak in the stunning views and peaceful energy on this authentic tour of Laos. With everything taken care of for you, all you have to do is make memories!
Welcome to Laos! Upon arrival to the airport in Luang Prabang, obtain your Laos visa, if you haven't already obtained this prior to traveling. You will then clear Immigration and Customs, before entering into the arrivals area to meet your guide. They will assist you in the transfer to your hotel, where you will check in and spend the rest of the day at your leisure. (This service is on a private basis.)
Luang Prabang is an outstanding example of the fusion of traditional architecture and Lao urban structures with those built by the European colonial authorities in the 19th and 20th centuries. Its unique, remarkably well-preserved cityscape illustrates a key stage in the blending of these two distinct cultural traditions.
If you have no problems to get up at dawn, your guide will accompany you to witness the sacred ritual of monks on their alms rounds, known locally as Sai Bath. Long lines of barefoot monks go true the streets to receive their morning rice from the local villagers (In keeping with our respectful stance regarding local cultures, please observe this sacred ritual from a respectful distance. If you take photographs, do not use a flash and try not to let this interfere with this highly revered ritual). Afterwards, visit the lively Morning Market and be immersed in local lifestyle, observing locals who are doing their grocery shopping. Return to your hotel for breakfast.
Reconvene with your guide to explore this historic and charming World Heritage Town. Transfer to begin your journey at the most popular of temples – Wat Xieng Thong. This 500 year old temple is exquisite and is the best example of the classic Luang Prabang style. From here, explore small side streets, along back alleys and through temples – a city that could have been designed with slow travel in mind, a morning walking tour allows you to soak up the ambiance and appreciate the hidden charms of Luang Prabang. Through your guide, feel free to ask the locals questions as they go about their daily lives.
Continue wandering up the peninsula, stopping at temples and other sites as you wish. Visit the National Museum, which is the former Royal Palace. Relics from Laos’ royalist past remain here. Overlooking the palace is Phousi Mountain. It is said that those who do not climb the 328 steps up have not really made it to the city. Venture up the hill and be rewarded with remarkable views of the area. (This service is on a private basis.)
After breakfast this morning, meet your guide and driver to begin a day adventure through the countryside for a more cultural perspective of the area, followed by a visit to the beautiful turquoise waters of Kuang Si Waterfall.
You will begin the drive into the peaceful countryside, stopping to explore a Khmu and Hmong village along the way. These ethnic minorities live closely, and you can compare their life styles, traditions and religions.
The Lowland Lao of Ban Sa-aat lives on the banks of the Mekong and its tributaries and in the cities. They speak Lao, which is closely related to the Thai spoken in Thailand. Ban Long Lao is home to Khmu people, who were the original inhabitants of Northern Laos. They are animists and speak a language belonging to the Austro-Asiatic group of languages. In Ban Long Lao, you will see Hmong and Khmu people live peacefully side by side. The Hmong settlers were the most recent to come to Laos. They built their villages on the mountain tops and practice shifting cultivation of corn and other crops. In Ban Pano and Ban Long Lao, local guides from these villages will show you around. You will have the chance to see houses from inside, traditional dresses and explanations about different craft productions or other common work routines. The villagers are grateful for this additional income and they are proud to welcome visitors from far away!
Finish the tour with a visit to the Kuang Si Waterfall. At the falls, crystal water cascades into idyllic turquoise pools. Bring a bathing suit if you would like to swim! Also take time to visit the nearby Sunbear Refuge to see the adorable protected Asiatic bears, and learn more about the poaching of these endangered creatures. On the way back to town, stop at a buffalo dairy known for their approach to sustainable farming. Here, you'll take a guided tour of the farm and learn how they work with the local community, observe a buffalo feeding and bathing, feed the chickens, pigs and rabbits, and maybe bottle-feed a calf! After, you'll be able to relax and enjoy their cake of the day served with coffee or ice cream before heading back to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)
Today, you will be picked up by your local guide and head to a local fresh market, where you'll meet your chef and teacher for the day, Mrs. Noy. After learning about local produce you will board a boat to cross the Mekon River where you will be greeted by friendly villagers and Mrs. Noy's family. This simple, intimate lesson in a private family home will offer insight into Lao life, and of course the local cuisine. After lunch, continue by boat downstream to visit villages where the famous river weed snacks, rice crackers, and other tasty bites are produced. Floating gently down the water, enjoy a Lao rice whiskey tasting as you slowly approach Luang Prabang.
In the early evening, you will be treated to the refined grace of a private Baci ceremony at private family home in a small village called Ban Mano. These gentle villagers, led by their Nai Ban (village chief) offer visitors tidings of good luck and fortune for their life and travels by gingerly tying cotton cords symbolizing luck, friendship and good health around your wrists. After your day of cultural immersion, you'll be returned to your hotel to spend the rest of the evening free at your leisure. (This service is on a private basis.)
This morning, you will be picked up at your hotel in Luang Prabang and transferred to the airport. (This service is on a private basis.)
Upon arrival in Pakse, you'll meet your guide and transfer to the Bolaven Plateau - a highlands known for its waterfalls, ethnic minorities, and also as the home to Lao coffee and tea production. Also visit Tad Fane for a glimpse of the massive, stunning twin waterfalls that plunge 200 meters down a gorge. Continue on to the Tad Yuang waterfall to admire the majestic cascading waters, or take a swim if you like.
Afterwards, visit the indigenous Mon-Khmer Katou people, living in an area also inhabited by the Khmu, Ngae, Kalung, Lavane, Lavere and Katung ethnic groups, before continuing your drive to Champasak. Upon arrival in Champasak, you'll be transferred to your hotel.
This morning, you'll meet your guide and start the roughly 3 hour drive to Nakasn's boat pier, where a private longtail boat will be waiting to take you to the peaceful islands of Don Det and Don Khone on the Mekong River. Upon arrival at Don Khone, you'll hop on a bike to visit Lippi waterfalls and Don Det. These falls, wedged between Cambodia and Don Khone, are nothing short of spectacular. Also called Tad Somphamit, meaning "trapped spirit", the falls are sacred for locals because they believe this natural wonder in fact traps bad spirits and protects them in their daily lives.
In the afternoon, you'll continue on to Khone Phapheng waterfall. The largest in Southeast Asia and the reason that the Mekong is not fully navigable into China, the waterfall served as a major natural deterrent to French navigation efforts in colonial times.
After a full day of exploration, you'll be returned to your hotel in Champasak. (This service is on a private basis.)
Although your Laos adventure must come to an end today, you will be leaving with new friends, amazing experiences and memories to cherish for the rest of your life. Once you have checked out of your hotel in Don Deng, you will be met by your driver and transferred to the airport in Pakse in good time to board your international departure flight.
We wish you safe and happy travels home! (This service is on a private basis.)
Maison Dalabua is just 5 minutes walk from the central area, with easy access to the night market, Grand Palace and down town area. The hotel stands on one of the most serene locations of Luang Prabang, away from the hustle and bustle. Surrounded by beautiful lotus ponds, Maison Dalabua offers spacious air-conditioned rooms with private bathroom facilities, cable TV, amd a minibar. Lotus du Spa provides traditional massages by trained masseuses. The hotel also provides a tour desk which helps organize day activities to local attractions. Guests can rent bicycles at Maison Dalabua. Rim Naam Restaurant serves local and western dishes, while Rabiang Bua Bar serves warm beverages and refreshing cocktails.
Located on the charming Don Daeng Island, a free car island, part of the Champassak cultural and natural heritage landscape, La Folie Lodge sits along the Mekong River, on a beach facing the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wat Phou. The 27 luxurious rooms are set in wooden bungalows, each with private balconies and magnificent views on the Mekong or the garden. Come and enjoy the exceptional natural beauty and unspoilt charm of Southern Laos, together with first-class facilities and the legendary Laotian welcoming.
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.
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