(Luang Prabang, Vientiane)
As a saffron-robed monk ties a sacred string around your wrist in a blessing of good luck, you’ll fall instantly in love with this mysterious land and its warm, joyful people.
From violet sunsets and golden Buddhas, to gentle elephants and peaceful rural life, this extensive trip explores every corner of Laos. Climb Mt. Phousi for panoramic views over Luang Prabang where elaborate palaces stand beside mosaic royal temples; ride an elephant along the banks of Nam Khan river; visit Ban Xieng Loum village and board a long tail boat to Tad Sea waterfall; explore the cliff-face caves of Pak Ou on the Mekong; pay your respects at the Golden Stupa temple which is believed to contain a relic of Lord Buddha; and learn to cook with the exotic flavors of this incredible country.
A significant part of the magic of Laos lies in its kind-hearted people, and your experienced English-speaking guides and private drivers will facilitate several memorable interactions with enthusiastic locals. From rice wine tastings to an early-morning trip to a busy food market, you’ll get a feel for the rhythms of life in Laos. And you’ll stay in the country’s finest hotels, all of which boast friendly, world-class service and elegant colonial character that draws on all the glamour of the old world.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Airport transfer with private guide, driver and vehicle.
Hotel de la Paix Luang Prabang stands upon a UNESCO site in the former royal capital of Laos. Once a Governor’s mansion, a garrison and briefly a jail, the century old structure has been restored to luxury. Today, 23 spacious Suites await, each with a walled rear garden and a terrace overlooking a sun-kissed courtyard; some with their own expansive and very private swimming pools. Hotel de la Paix Luang Prabang is utterly unique; a boutique resort that is a World Heritage treasure, a colonial moment preserved in amber, and a showcase of contemporary design. It’s the jewel in the town that time forgot.
Explore Luang Prabang by minivan. Visit the former royal temples, Wat Visun (where one can see the biggest statue), and Wat Xieng Thong (the most beautiful temple in Luang Prabang with its mosaic decoration and former royal carriage). Visit the Museum (former king’s palace), then climb up Mt Phousi for a beautiful view overlooking the city of Luang Prabang. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, visit Photisak silver shop, and Minority Art Centre, learn to know different types of minority groups in Laos, their ways of living, and their survival.
You will be picked up from your hotel by your private driver who will escort you by minivan to the Elephant Camp, where you will enjoy an elephant ride through real jungle and walk along the beautiful Nam Khan River. After the ride, it is time to feed the elephants and say good bye to them, taking photos is a must. Later, continue your trip to Ban Xieng Loum “Village” where you will take a long tail boat to Tad Sea Waterfall. Enjoy a Lao-style Lunch at the waterfall and feel free to swim and jump in. After lunch, board a long tail boat to Xieng Village, for a Bamboo raft ride on the Nam Khan River. Transfer back to your hotel in Luang Prabang.
Take a traditional wooden boat upstream to visit the famous caves of Pak Ou. The caves are perched on the sheer face of the cliff, offering impressive and stunning views of the Mekong and surrounding mountains. Inside the cave, there are more than one hundred Buddha images which have been attracting local people since the early 14th century when the cave was discovered. On the way, a short stop at Ban Xanghai, enjoy the taste of the local rice wine. Distilling rice wine and weaving are important economic activities for the majority of people in the village.
Fly one way from Luang Prabang to Vientiane.
Airport transfer with driver to Vientiane Hotel.
Explore Vientiane by vehicle, visit a few main temples such as Vat Ho Prakeo which used to be the house of the Emerald Buddha, across the street is Wat Sisaket where more than ten thousand Buddha images are housed. Continue to Patuxai (similar to the Arc de Triumph of France). Here you are free to climb up to the top to get a great view of the city. Our last visit will be the Golden Stupa, which is well known as That Luang Stupa, and it is believed to contain a relic of lord Buddha. Enjoy lunch at local restaurant. In the afternoon, visit Lao Revolutionary Museum, learn and get to know what happened during the French colonial time, and during the reign of the King Anou and Chao Fa Ngum. Visit Ban Nong Bouathong weaving village, to get to know how people feed worms for the famous silk and Lao textiles.
The Green Park Boutique Hotel perfectly captures traditional Lao style and contemporary Lao architecture. A combination of historic and modern designs within a magnificent setting creates an elegant, luxurious and relaxing atmosphere. Stylish guest rooms have rich wooden floors, delicate Lao silks draped over teakwood furniture and modern conveniences such as free wireless internet access. Sit in Nong Chanh Park, the biggest park in Vientiane and take a brief walk to major tourist sites like the Morning Market. Secluded without being isolated, The Green Park is undoubtedly a groundbreaking boutique property that is worth discovering.
Lao cuisine relies heavily on the freshest produce and incorporates a range of intriguing flavours, many unfamiliar to the western palate. You will begin with an early morning tour of Luang Prabang's major food market where you will have the opportunity to investigate these ingredients and explain their uses. You will then later learn how to pound your ingredients in a mortar & pestle, and cook over and open fire. Recipes are provided for you to take back home!
A Baci is a ceremony to make good luck for a person or event. It is held when people are promoted in their work, move into a new house, or start a new job. Unique to Lao culture, a Baci involves transferring good luck through blessed strings that are tied to one's wrist. The strings must stay attached for at least three days for the good luck to remain. Baci starts at around 4pm and is organized in a Lao teakwood house, then afterwards you will enjoy a Lao Buffet dinner.
VISA/PASSPORTA passport and visa are required for both US and Canadian. The Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that visas can be issued upon arrival in Laos to U.S. and Canadian citizens with two passport-size photographs and approximately $35 at designated ports of entry. Foreign tourists are generally admitted to Laos for 30 days. Visas can also be prearranged for a processing fee of approximately US$60 and generally takes 15 working days to process.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Laos for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is required. Medical facilities are not widespread and poor quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/laos.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Vientiane. Government: People’s Republic since 1975. Gained independence from France in 1953. Language: The official language is Lao, however, many tribal languages are also spoken. French, Vietnamese and some English are spoken. Religion: The majority of the Lao people are Buddhists. The Laos-Lum (Valley Laos) people follow the Hinayana (Theravada) form of Buddhism. The religions of the Laos-Theung (Laos of the mountain tops) range from traditional Confucianism to animism and Christianity. Time: GMT + 7. Electricity: 230 volts AC, 50Hz. Telephone: Country code +856. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with a few international mobile phone companies. Check with your service provider. Coverage is sporadic and mainly, though not exclusively, situated around Vientiane. Internet: Internet cafes are located in the major towns and are becoming increasingly common in places frequented by backpackers.
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