Nothern Laos Adventure
DAY 1 | PAKSE – CHAMPASAK
Arrival in Pakse.
Passing the formalities, and welcome by your guide. Then we will go for lunch at Nadao before heading to the Pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Phou. Drive from Pakse and travel on a wonderful local ferry over the Mekong River to Champassak. Here we visit the sacred Khmer temple of Wat Phu. This complex represents the most eastern border of the Khmer Empire in the 4th century. Later in the afternoon check in at your hotel.
Overnight in Champasak
DAY 2 | ARRIVAL IN TAY TRANG (VIETNAMESE - LAO BORDER) - MUANG KHUA – MUANG NGOI
***VISA ON ARRIVAL AT THE BORDER IS POSSIBLE, BUT WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND OBTAINING YOUR VISA FOR LAOS BEFORE CHECK IN AT THE BORDER!
***Please note that guests to be ready at the border before 08h00am.
After formality immigration at the border, meet your guide and assist with your transfer to Muang Khua, it takes about 4 hours drive, for lunch at the local restaurant, if time not allows we will take away lunch and serve on board.
After lunch, embark the boat and cruise down another 4 hours to Muang Ngoi for your overnight stay.
Check in at your hotel and free time at leisure.
Overnight at Muang Ngoi Guesthouse
DAY 3 | MUANG NGOI – BAN KIOUKHAN
In the morning, begin to trek uphill, which is about 1200 m above the sea level, to Ban Kioukhan (about 4-5 hours), a Village of Khmu ethnic group. On the way, stop to visit Tham Kaang, the former sheltering cave for local villagers during the last Indochina War (1960 – 1972) which has never damaged with beautiful surroundings. A long the way, it is particularly picturesque of mountain views. Picnic lunch. Arrive Kioukhan in the afternoon. Explore local people’s working and living conditions.
Dinner and overnight at villagers’ homes.
DAY 4 | BAN KIOUKHAN - MUANG NGOI
Breakfast at villagers’ homes; continue to trek downhill through beautiful natural surroundings to visit Ban Hadsapheai (about 4-5 hours), a small village of Khmu ethnic group which is on the bank of Nam Ou River. Continue to take a boat ride downstream to Muang Ngoi. Between Ban Hatsaphuai and Muang Ngoi, it is thought to be one of the most beautiful views on the Nam Ou river with rock cliffs and rock formation rising dramatically above rain forest. Lunch at local restaurant in Muang Ngoi.
Then continue your cruise down Nam Ou about 40-60 minutes to Nong Khiew; on arrival transfer to hotel for check in.
Overnight in Nong Khiew
DAY 5 | NONG KHIEW – LUANG PRABANG
After breakfast, embark you boat and cruise on Nam Ou and continue to the Mekong River to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. In Pak Ou, thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues are crowded into the two caves carved out of a towering limestone cliff. They range in size from a few centimeters to the size of a human. Return to Luang Prabang and en-route visit Ban Xang Hai a village famous for its Lao-Lao distilleries. Lunch at local restaurant.
In Luang Prabang, transfer to the hotel for check in and freshen before the afternoon tour.
Late afternoon, orientation tour of Luang Prabang and visit to Traditional Arts & Ethnology Center (TAEC), closed on Monday. Make a stop at Mount Phousi where you can climb the 328 steps to the top to enjoy a panoramic view of the city and the surrounding countryside. Afterwards your guide will accompany you on a stroll through the evening hill tribe market in downtown Luang Prabang.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
DAY 6 | LUANG PRABANG
05h40 – Head by tuk tuk to the peninsula to witness and attend alms giving. 06h – Long lines of monks and novices stroll the street of the town center to collect their daily food subsistence from the worshippers. Continue with a visit to the fresh food market that is held daily in the streets nearby the former Royal Palace.
After breakfast your city tour begins at the former Royal Palace (closed every Tuesday), now the National Museum. From there, continue on foot to visit Wat Mai, with its unique 5 tiered roof and golden bas-reliefs. Then visit Wat Sene with its beautiful golden façade. Finish your morning tour with the visit of the most photographed temple in Luang Prabang: Wat Xieng Thong.
Lunch at Ocp Pop Tok restaurant at the weaving center.
In the afternoon, Half-Day Dyeing Class: an introduction to all the dye sources. The student prepares 3 dye sources and dyes silk yarns. Take home the results. Sunset drink and view the sunset from the beautiful Mekong River view at Ock Pop Tok. Then you will enjoy Petanque games with local residents in Luang Prabang.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
DAY 7 | LUANG PRABANG – VIENTIANE
8.30: Students meet at Tum Tum Cheng restaurant (near Wat Xiengthong, at the corner) Welcome with tea or coffee.
8.40 – 9.00: Choosing the recipes from your cook book is including the payment for the class.
9.00 – 10.00: Visiting Market.
10.00 – 11.00: Learn how to chop and cut the different ingredients, spices and Vegetables (E.g . bamboo sprouts , prepare stuffed lemongrass ). Cooking – shared tasks e.g. rolling spring rolls, or Wrapping meat in Banana leaves. Preparation of sticky rice and steamed rice. History of Lao cooking and the neighboring countries, Lao rice vodka Tasting.
11.00 – 12.00: Cooking by yourself and cooking demonstration by chef.
12.30 – 13.30: Lunch starts when all your dishes are done, We serve you drinks and tell you
about Lao culinary traditions and eating habits. Receive Certificate of Achievement at the end of the class.
This afternoon, visit Wat Visoun, where you will see the famous Watermelon Stupa, shaped like the fruit it takes its name from. We will also visit Wat Aham where you will see the altar of the 2 geniuses of Luang Prabang.
Some free time for shopping before transfer to the airport for your flight to Vientiane.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
DAY 8 | VIENTIANE – THA NGON
Breakfast at hotel
In the morning, starts your tour with Wat Sisaket: the only temple left intact after the Siamese invasion in 1828. It is one of the most beautiful temple of the capital with its thousands of miniature Buddha statues. Continue with Wat Phra Keo, now used as a religious museum where you can see Lao and Khmer works of art.
Then visit That Luang, the holiest place in Laos and Patuxai monument, also called Anousavari, and enjoy a panoramic view over the city from the roof.
Then transfer to Tha Ngon for lunch on the floating boat. After lunch return to the town and continue your afternoon tour.
In the afternoon, your next stop Buddha park: It is located around 30 minutes driving from down town, locally also call Wat Xieng Khuan. It contains numerous of religious sculpture mix up Hindu and Buddhist styles which it is over 200 statues along the Mekong River bank.
Return to the center and visit COPE center and then stop to view the sunset along the Mekong bank at Chao Anuvong Park.
Overnight in Vientiane
DAY 9 | VIENTIANE – BAN HATKHAI – TAD XAY
This tour starts in Vientiane at 7.30 in the morning and you will be picked up at your hotel or any other place of your convenience. We travel about 90 km along Highway No. 13 (south) until we get close to Ban Thabok (Bolikhamsay Province), where we turn left and follow a dirt road for another 7 km before reaching Ban Hatkhai. Here is the actual starting point of our trip. Our truck brings you directly to Pha Xay, passing rice fields and beautiful forest.
We then trek along a network of trails. Orchids will be spotted all along the way but particularly in the area around the waterfalls. You are guided by local villagers and an orchid expert and you will not only be surprised about the abundance of orchids but get insights into their specific biology and ecology. You will also have the opportunity of getting introduced to many other plants used by the local people for medical purposes or as food supplement. A picnic lunch awaits you in the midst of the forest. We return to the access road where our car will wait to bring us back the eight kilometer to Ban Hatkhai. We expect to finally arrive in Vientiane in the late afternoon at around 6.30 p.m.
Note: Please keep in mind that orchids are rare plants, even in a National Park! Do not pick any flower you will find. Just enjoy their beauty at their natural place and not in your hand. Taking photos is allowed, though… Thank you for your understanding!
Dinner at Phatoke Laoderm with traditional dance show during your dinner.
Overnight in Vientiane
DAY 10 | VIENTIANE – BAN HATKHAI – TAD XAY
Breakfast at hotel & free time at leisure in the morning till your transfer to airport for your flight to the next destination.
End of service!