Laos is a magical country, with a timeless, sleepy and colonial atmosphere, home to the mysterious UNESCO World Heritage City, Luang Prabang. One of Asia’s best-preserved cities, Luang Prabang has an abundance of Buddhist temples with astonishing architecture; you can really see how the temple structures vary in this majestic country as you visit the national monuments in the capital Vientiane. You will be surrounded by nature as we pass through picturesque mountains and spend time absorbing the beautiful setting by the undeveloped Mekong River, Southeast Asia’s lifeline.
Day1. Arrival Vientiane
On arrival in Vientiane Capital, you will be met and transferred to your centrally located hotel. After a short rest, we see the major sights of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket, the temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. On the way to Lao’s national icon, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, we stop enroute to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph The Mekong river side is the perfect place to end the day and admire the sunset. Overnight in Vientiane
Day2. Vientiane – Luang Prabang (B, L)
Today, we transfer to the airport for the short flight to Luang Prabang, which is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. After checking into your hotel, we visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrines of Wat Aham and Wat Mai, we then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi to explore the sacred, gilded stupa as well as have a beautiful view of the city and the Mekong River at sunset. From there, we explore the Night Market, where you can browse a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by the local people and hill tribes surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang
Day3. Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Caves (B, L)
Today, we enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temples of Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. We then embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside as well as exploring the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by devoted pilgrims. Along the way, we will stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where the local rice wine is produced. On return, we take a short drive to another small village Ban Phanom, which is famous for its hand weaving. Overnight in Luang Prabang
Day4. Luang Prabang – Vientiane (B)
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (often in the form of sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the ritual.
After breakfast, we visit the National Museum (closed Tuesdays) at the former Royal Palace. It displays a collection of artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through to the last sovereign. There will also be time for us to look around the Central Market. After visiting these sights in the morning, you catch your flight back to Vientiane. After checking into your hotel, we transfer out to see the Buddha Park, an enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures on the Mekong Riverside meadow, near the Friendship Bridge. There are approximately 200 religious images dating back over 500 years, which were created by a mysterious monk spreading his philosophy on life and to reveal his ideas about the universe. A spectacular view of over the Mekong River at sunset is a perfect way to finish the day. Overnight in Vientiane
Day5. Vientiane Departure(B)
After breakfast, we visit the Morning Market (if time permits). The tour ends after your transfer to Wattay airport for departure. End of services!