LAOS AUTHENTIC

  
visit asia - tours to asiaCODE LAA20D

Price £3,295 per person

Best time to go : Nov to Mar

A complete and intensive Laos tour stretching from the 4,000 islands in the South to remote Northern tribal villages. Unforgettable river cruises along stunning landscapes, mysterious jar plains & historical cave sites, genuine tribal people and much more ...

UBON RATCHATHANI - BOLAVEN PLATEAU – TADLO – WAT PHOU – CHAMPASSAK – 4,000 ISLANDS – KHONG ISLAND – VIENTIANE – XIENG KHUANG – SUAN HILL - VIENG XAI CAVES – NONG KHIAW – MUANG LA – LUANG NAM THA – HOUEY XAY – PAKBENG – LUANG PRABANG.

Price includes: Internal flights, airport/hotel transfers, hotels as stated or similar with daily breakfast, air conditioned private cars and English speaking local guides for excursions and visits as per programme, admission fees.

Price excludes : International flights *, insurance, visa to Laos (obtainable on arrival at US$35 and 01 photo), camera & video fees, tipping, optional entertainments and any service not specified. Single room supplement £1,195 per person.

**Tour price based on 2 persons travelling together.
** To make your holidays even more hassle-free, we can purchase international flights on your behalf at competitive prices. Please call for more information.

Day 01 Departure from the UK.
International flights to Vientiane via Bangkok or Singapore.

Day 02 VIENTIANE (B/-/-) On arrival meeting with local guide and car transfer to Green Park boutique Hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 03 VIENTIANE(B/L/-) visit asia - tours to asia
Your half day city tour begins with the oldest wat in Vientiane, Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues, and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which now serves as a museum of arts and antiques. We then travel up Lanexang Avenue you will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxai Monument, which resembles its Parisian inspiration, the Arc de Triomphe. The climb to the top offers great views over Vientiane. We continue onwards down Rue Singha 23 to Laos’ National icon, and most important religious building, the golden stupa of That Luang. The final visit of the day will be the excellent COPE exhibition centre, highlighting a much overlooked aspect of Laos and a major problem many of the local people face on a day to day basis in the form of unexploded ordnance as a result of heavy bombing campaigns during the Vietnam War area. Late afternoon return to hotel. Overnight in Vientiane at Green Park Boutique hotel.


Day 04 VIENTIANE/PAKZE - BOLAVEN PLATEAU (B/L/-) visit asia - tours to asia
Breakfast at hotel before being transferred to the airport for a mid morning flight to Pakze. On arrival you will be taken by road east into the Bolaven Plateau, known for its cooler temperature being located high above the Mekong Valley. Our first stop is to visit Houey Ten, a village specializing in knifemaking. Next stop is at a tea plantation followed by Tad Fan, a picturesque twin chute waterfall. Last stop is at a coffee plantation before arriving at your hotel by mid afternoon. Overnight in Bolaven at Sinouk Coffee Resort.

Day 05 BOLAVEN – TADLO – WAT PHOU CHAMPASSAK – DON DEANG (B/L/-) visit asia - tours to asia
After breakfast we start the day in Tha Teng Market, a colourful ethnic minority food market. Next we explore a couple of fascinating minority villages, Ban Bong Neua, an Alak village that boasts a sacrificial altar, and Ban Kokphung, a Katu village where they keep coffins under their houses. We arrive at the beautiful Tadlo Waterfall in late morning. We then drive to Champassak and onto Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer religious complex dating back to the 5th Century. This dramatically sited temple is one of the highlights of any trip to Laos. In the afternoon we will take the boat across the Mekong to the island of Don Daeng, where the rest of the day is at leisure to relax, or explore this peaceful island. Overnight in Done Deang at La Folie Lodge.
Upon arrival in Vientiane meeting with guide and transfer to hotel. Overnight at Ansara Hotel.

Day 06 DON DAENG – 4000 ISLANDS – DONE KHONE ISLAND (B/L/-) visit asia - tours to asia
After an early breakfast, we cross over to the mainland and drive south to Ban Hatsaikhone, where we board a local private boat for a boat tour of the 4000 Islands. We reach the picturesque island of Don Khone by lunchtime, and in the afternoon explore the island by bicycle, tracing the route of an old abandoned railway and admiring some of the old French Colonial buildings, and the beautiful Liphi Waterfall. We then continue to the far tip of the island and from here we take a boat onto the Mekong to one of the few places in the world where it is possible to see freshwater dolphins. They reside in deep pools near the Cambodia border, and if you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of them. Overnight in Done Khone at Sala Done Khone, French Residence Room.

Day 07 DONE KHONE ISLAND – PAKZE/LUANGPRABANG(B/L/-) visit asia - tours to asia
Following breakfast we leave the island by boat and drive the short distance to visit the spectacular Khone Phapheng Falls, one of the largest and most powerful waterfalls in Southeast Asia. We then drive north to Pakse airport for a mid afternoon flight to Luang Prabang. Upon arrival you will be met by your guide and driver and transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Luang Prabang at The Belle Rive boutique Hotel.

Day 08 LUANGPRABANG (B/L/-)
You can discuss with your guide for an optional early morning start (5.30am) to witness and partake in the daily morning ritual of ‘Tak Bat’ or giving alms to the monks. This is a unique ritual still followed by the locals in Luang Prabang. We can also visit the local fresh market to see how the locals shop, before returning to hotel for breakfast. After breakfast we visit the quaint Royal Palace Museum, which gives a good overview of the local history. We then begin our temple tour taking in some the cities most beautiful structures, including the country’s most historic and enchanting temple Wat Xiengthong, with its roof sweeping low to the ground, representing the classical Luang Prabang style, as well as the unique Wat Mai, with its five tiered roof and Wat Visoun, known as ‘The Water Melon Stupa’ due to its shape. In the afternoon we visit the excellent Arts and Ethnology Centre which gives us a great insight into the ethnic mix and culture of Laos. We then visit the weaving and textile villages of Ban Xangkhong and Ban Xienglek. Our final stop of the day is a climb Mt Phousi, which offers a spectacular sunset and a panoramic view over Luang Prabang and the Mekong River. Evening enjoy a stroll in the night market at the foot of Mount Phousi. Overnight in Luang Prabang at The Belle Rive Hotel.

Day 09 LUANG PRABANG (B/-/-)
Breakfast at hotel. A day at leisure to enjoy Luang Prabang your own way. Overnight at The Belle Rive Hotel.

Day 10 LUANGPRABANG - XIENGKHUANG (B/L/-) visit asia - tours to asia
We start early this morning, around 8am for the drive to Xiengkhuang, famous for the ‘Plain of Jars’. The road follows a twisty mountain route, and we make our first stop at Ban Houi Hia, which offers great views of the surrounding mountains. We then continue to Ban Kiu Kharm Pom, a Khmu village before arriving in Phou Khoun for lunch. Arrive in Xiengkhuang province reaching our highest altitude of the day 1500m above sea level. Time permitting we make a stop at Ban Sonboun, a Hmong village. The final stop of the day is a reminder that this region played a major part during the Vietnam War – as we visit a hidden Buddha Cave, that served as an army hospital during the war and an old Russian tank. Arrive at hotel by early evening. Overnight in Phonsavanh at Vansana Plain of Jars.

Day 11 XIENG KHUANG (B/L/- )
This morning we visit the Mines Action Group (or MAG) office to learn about the important work they do in clearing land mines and unexploded ordnance in the area. We then drive out to the picturesque Jar Site 1, the largest site, containing over 300 jars, and begin a 1 hour trek along the ridge to Jar Site 3, consisting over around 150 jars located on top of a hill, offering great views. We then return to Phonsavanh town by lunchtime for lunch. Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Phonsavanh at Vansana Plain of Jars.

Day 12 PHONSAVANH – SUAN HIN – VIENGXAI (B/L/-) visit asia - tours to asia
We begin our long drive today starting early this morning along some fairly rough roads, but the journey is pleasantly broken up with stops at Hmong and Khmu villages, as well as time to admire the breathtaking scenery with a series of photo stops. Following lunch we visit Hintang. Here we can see the mysterious menhirs (standing stones). No one is quite sure who built them or why, perhaps burial sites or markers of some sort. We also stop at Ban Sa Levy, a Tai Phong weaving village. We arrive in Vieng Xai in early evening. Overnight in Vieng Xai at Naxai Guesthouse.

Day 13 VIENG XAI- SAM NEUA (B/L/-)
After breakfast 45 min drive to Vieng Xai Caves. This is where the Pathet Lao leaders lived during the “Secret War’. We start our fascinating audio tour, that includes a visit to the Kaysone Phomvihane (the leader of the Lao communist movement) Cave, and the Prince Souphanouvong (the ‘Red Prince’) Cave. The tour ends with the Artillery Cave that offers stunning views, over the surrounding countryside. After Vieng Xai Caves, we then travel by road the short distance to Sam Neua arriving there by mid afternoon. Overnight in Sam Neua at Xayphasouk Guesthouse.

Day 14 SAM NEUA - NONG KHIAW(B/L/-)
Travel by road to Nong Khiaw, taking in the spectacular mountain scenery en route. Arrive in Nong Khiaw by mid afternoon. Upon checking into your hotel, you have the option of taking a short bicycle ride (hired from the resort) or an easy trek to the picturesque local limestone caves nearby – your guide will be happy to assist Overnight in Nong Khiaw at Mandala Ou Resort, Riverside Room.

Day 15 NONG KHIAW ~ MUANG KHUA – MUANG LA (B/L/D)
visit asia - tours to asia This morning we board our local private boat for an unforgettable cruise up the Nam Ou River to Muang Khua. This particular stretch offers stunning scenery and remote villages, including Ban Sob Jaem a Khmu and Hmong village that can only be accessed by boat. Upon reaching Muang Khua we transfer by road to Muang La, famous for its natural hot springs arriving by mid afternoon. Here you can relax by having a traditional massage, or enjoy a hot spring bath at the resort. Dinner and overnight in Muang La at Muang La Resort.

Day 16 MUANG LA - Moments of time with the Ikhos (B/L/D)
We travel by 4WD vehicle this morning and take a very nice road along the river Nam Phak to meet 2 villages of the Ikhos tribe : one of the local communities found in the most remote parts of Laos, originally from Yunnan and Tibet. In their mountain villages, you will discover their way of life: their beliefs in the spirit world and also you will see the unique way that they have to dye their clothes with dyes from plants. Return to Muang La by lunchtime where the rest of the day is at leisure. Dinner & overnight in Muang La at Muang La Resort.

Day 17 MUANG LA – LUANG NAM THA (B/L/-) visit asia - tours to asia
We depart early this morning for the drive to Luang Namtha. Photo stops can be made to admire the mountain scenery, and we also stop at Ban Namdeng Nua, a Lanten village, before arriving in Luang Namtha in time for a late lunch. In the afternoon explore Luang Namtha Market and late afternoon climb up Phoumpok Stupa a great view point, offering panoramic views of the surrounding area. Overnight in Luang Nam Tha at The Boat Landing.

Day 18 LUANG NAM THA – VIENTIANE (B/L/-)
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight to Vientiane. Upon arrival you will be met by your guide and driver and transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Vientiane at Green Park Boutique Hotel.

Day 19 DEPARTURE (B/-/-)
Breakfast at hotel. In due time car transfer to airport for flight home via Bangkok or Singapore.
Day 20 Arrive home