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8 Days/7 Nights – Best of Laos

Luang Prabang – 4000 Islands – Champasak

Day 1

Arrival Luang Prabang

Arrival Luang Prabang

Arrival in Luang Prabang, a charming UNESCO world heritage city. This beautiful city was the royal capital and seat of government for the Kingdom of Laos until the revolution of 1975. The main part of the city consists of four main roads crisscrossing a peninsula between the Nam Khan and Mekong River.

You will meet a local guide at the airport exit, after immigration and luggage collection. You’ll be transferred to your hotel in a private vehicle, upon arrival, a welcome drink will be served at the hotel reception before check-in.

Walk along the Nam Khan to Vat Pa Khe, called the “Pagoda of the Dutch” whose terrace offers a very beautiful view of the Nam Khan. You can enjoy the sunset over the Mekong from Vat Phabattay.

Dinner own account

Accommodation at your hotel

Day 2

LUANG PRABANG – FULL DAY CITY TOUR

Morning

Breakfast at your hotel

08.30 – You will be picked up from your hotel’s lobby and visit Wat Xieng Thong, known as the Golden City Temple, this 16th-century complex was built near the meeting of Luang Prabang’s two rivers, at the end of the peninsula. Adorned in ornate coloured glass, this temple is considered to be the most beautiful temple in Luang Prabang and is important as a religious and national symbol. It was here that Laotian kings were crowned. Continue to Wat Sene, which was constructed in 1718 under the mandate of King Kitsarath with 100,000 stones from the Mekong River. The name has been dubbed from then. Wat Sene was once restored in the year 1957 commemorating the Buddha’s birthday dating back to 2500 years ago.

Proceed to Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (TAEC), this place is more than a museum to visit and a boutique for fine handicrafts. Located in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang, Lao, PDR, TAEC is the only independent resource centre in Laos dedicated to the country’s many and diverse ethnic groups. Visit Wat Visoun, this temple was a symbol of the Kingdom’s unity. The carved wooden railings in the temple’s windows are reminiscent of the Wat Phou temple in Champasak, in the far South of Laos. Inside you can admire ancient statues and steles. Also located on the grounds of this temple is the That Pathoume, also known as That Mak Mo (the watermelon stupa) because of its shape.

Lunch on own account

Afternoon

In the afternoon, visit the National Museum, this palace museum was built in 1904 and offers a glimpse into the world of Laotian kings and their families. On the grounds: an opulent pavilion housing the Prabang Buddha and a garage holding mid-century American cars, gifts from the United States, then visit Wat Mai, one of Luang Prabang’s largest and most richly decorated temples. Both its interior and exterior are extensively adorned with black and red lacquer decoration and gold leaf. The temple, also known as Wat Mai, meaning “new temple” was founded around 1780 by King Anurat of the Luang Prabang Kingdom.

Climb up to Phousi hill the energetic can brave the humidity to climb the hill’s 300-plus steps for a spectacular view of the city and its surroundings. A small 200-year-old stupa, or temple, sits atop the summit and free time to enjoy the Night Market.

Dinner on own account

Accommodation at your hotel

Day 3:

LUANG PRABANG – (TAK BAT) – BAN XANG KHONG – PAK OU CAVES – BAN XANG HAI – OCK POP TOK   

Morning

Early wake up for those who wish to assist to the morning alms giving “Tak Bat” and then visit a market that pops up each morning near Luang Prabang’s main thoroughfare. Brush elbows with the locals buying fruits, vegetables, meat, and spices from vendors who display an enticing array of products.  If you’d like, try regional snacks like dried buffalo skin and rice-flour chips. Return to your hotel for breakfast.

Breakfast at your hotel

You will be picked up from your hotel drive out of town to visit Ban Xang Khong,  a village that specialized for many years in manufacturing and selling products made from Silk and Sa Paper.

Continue to embark on a traditional boat to cruise upstream on the Mekong River for 2 hours to visit the sacred Buddha caves. Visit Tham Ting and Tham Phoum caves, both of which are filled with thousands of Buddha images and statues which have been deposited over the centuries by pilgrims. En route, stop at a local village to witness the local’s daily life.

Lunch on own account

Afternoon

Jump in to the boat and return to Luang Prabang, on the way back stop in a traditional village to observe the rice alcohol distillery (tasting on site).

Once arrived at the boat pier in town, you will be picked by a private vehicle and visit Ock Pop Tok, the weaving center and social enterprise that seeks to preserve traditional weaving techniques. Ock Pop Tok (meaning “East Meets West” in Lao) was founded on the principles of fair trade and sustainable business practices. The company was pioneering social business and ethical fashion before these terms were even a part of our cultural lexicon. Ock Pop Tok  or OPT to those ‘in the know’  has grown from a small shop selling only a few designs, to becoming one of the most important textile and artisanal institutions in all of Laos and South East Asia. [Note : workshop available – supplement to pay on spot].

After here, you will be transferred back to your hotel.

Dinner own account

Accommodation at your hotel

Day 4

LUANG PRABANG – PAKSE – KHONE PHAPHENG WATERFALLS – KHONG ISLAND

Welcome to Southern Laos

Breakfast at your hotel

08.30 – You will be picked by your guide and transfer to Luang Prabang Airport for your flight to Pakse.

Arrival in Pakse, you will be welcome by your local French-speaking guide at the airport exit, after immigration and luggage collection.

Depart by road towards Khong Island, on the way you will stop at the Khone Phapheng Waterfall that sit at the southern tip of Laos, in an area called Si Phan Don, which literally translates to “Four thousand islands”. At this point the Mekong River broadens out; during the rainy season the river and series of cascades is kilometers wide and extend over a length of almost 10 km downstream.

Upon arrival at Khong Island, you will be transferred to your hotel and check-in.

Dinner own account

Accommodation at your hotel

Day 5

4.000 ISLANDS– DON DAENG ISLAND

4000 ISLANDS

Breakfast at your hotel

Today, explore the region known locally as Si Phan Don (“4,000 islands”). In this beautiful region, the Mekong is 14 kilometers wide, and an entire archipelago of “Si Phan Don” islands appears when the river recedes and leaves behind nearly 4,000 sandbanks and islets.

Departure by motorized canoe to the islands of Det and Khone, through the region of 4,000 islands. You will arrive on the island of Done Det marked by the French colonial presence. The French had built the only railway in Laos in this region in order to avoid the falls and the rapids of the Mekong.

Visit the island of Done Khone and its school; whether it is recreation time (10h) or not, you will be able to exchange with the teachers / the teaching team who will tell you about the education system in Laos, and the difficulties they face in providing quality education to students.

Continue by tuk-tuk to discover the Li Phi Falls. Their original name, Tad Somphamit, means “trapping spirit,” and locals revere these falls because they believe they trap evil spirits. The name “Li Phi” was therefore given to them because the falls would function as a giant fish trap (Li) and would lead to the death of all those who dare to sail on its waters (Phi meaning ghosts or deceased).

In the afternoon, departure by road to the island of Done Deng. Arrival in Ban Mouang, cross the Mekong to the island of Done Deng opposite to Champasak and back to your hotel.

Dinner own account

Accommodation at your hotel

Day 6

DON DAENG ISLAND – COOKING CLASS – WAT PHOU

Don Daeng Island

Breakfast at your hotel

This morning you will be taking part in a cooking class at a village on Done Deng Island. You will start by selecting some of your ingredients in the heart of an organic vegetable garden where you will discover the traditional herbs, spices, and exotic fruits and vegetables used in the preparation of culinary specialties specific to southern Laos.

Then it’s time to get down to prepare the dishes within a local village, the chef will guide you through each step.

After the course, you will taste the dishes prepared in the village or in the hotel restaurant, admiring the magnificent view of the Mekong and Champasak.

In the afternoon, ferry crossing from Mekong to Champasak and visit Wat Phou, recognized by UNESCO as world heritage. This majestic pre-Angkorian 10th century temple complex is one of the oldest sites in Laos. It was originally built as a Hindu temple. The elevated site provides spectacular views over the surrounding area and a dedicated museum gives an extensive insight its history.

Dinner own account

Accommodation at your hotel

Day 7

DON DAENG ISLAND – BOLAVEN PLATEAU – DON DAENG ISLAND

 

Breakfast at your hotel

Drive to the Bolaven Plateau, a unique elevated region in Laos, where tea and the famous Lao coffee are grown. Stop at a plantation run by a Lao couple (Mr. Tui & Mrs. Ba) and learn the process of coffee production from the tree to the cup before savoring a freshly brewed cup of Arabica or Robusta.

Continue to visit Tad Fane which falls an impressive 120 meters and Tad Yeung waterfalls with its twin torrents falling about 40 meters and flowing into the lush jungle.

Dinner own account

Accommodation at your hotel

Day 8

DON DAENG ISLAND – PAKSE

 

Breakfast at your hotel

Departure to Pakse airport for your departure flight to your next destination.

More information:

Flight tickets.

Visa approval and fees for Laos.

Other drinks and meals not mentioned in package.

Other personal expenses.

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