(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; 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.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle.
Today you will get to explore Luang Prabang by minivan. You will get to visit the Museum, the former king’s palace. It displays a lovely collection of personal artifacts of the Royal family, photos, musical instruments, and gifts received from foreigners. Across the street is Mt. Phusi where you will climb up to the top to view the city, over 300 steps! After, you will visit Wat Mai and Wat Xieng Thong temple, the most beautiful temple in Luang Prabang with its mosaic decoration and the former royal carriage. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. After lunch, you will visit Photisak silver shop and Minority Art center where you will learn all the different types of minority groups in Laos, their ways of living, and their ways of survival. Last but not least, you will get to visit Wat Phabat Tai, a monastery complex built in the 17th century and is the best place to view sunset if visiting in the evening.
Today you will visit Kwang Si Falls, located 30km south of Luang Prabang. These falls cascade on calcareous bedrocks where they have scooped out small basins of turquoise color. Swimming is possible and a short hike around the falls is suggested. On the way, a stop will be made to visit some minority villages. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Situated on top of a small hill, looked after by female monks, Wat Phon Pao, shows traditional Buddhist scenes through paintings. The singularity of this temple starts with its octagonal architecture. In the afternoon, a short excursion to Ban Xang Khong and Ban Xieng Lek will be made. These villages have specialized in manufacturing and selling products made from silk and Saa Paper for many years.
Take a traditional wooden boat upstream to visit the famous cave of Pak Ou. The caves are located right on the cliff; it’s a very impressive and stunning sight. Inside the cave, there are more than one hundred Buddha images which have been brought by local people since the early 14th century when the cave was found. On the way, a short stop will be made at Ban Muang Kham, which specializes in river weed making. After, a stop will be made at Ban Xanghai where you can enjoy the taste of the local rice wine.
Fly from Luang Prabang to Vientiane. Flight time is approximately 40 minutes.
Today you will get to explore Vientiane. You will get to see Pha That Luang, the victory monument Patuxai, and visit Phon Thong Savang market, a fresh food market that sells a variety of fruits, buffalo skins, poultry, fresh fish from the Mekong River, herbs, and much more. Later you will visit Ban Nong Bouathong, the weaving village, to get to know how people feed worms for the silk and see lots of the Laos textiles. Lunch will be at a local restaurant. After lunch, you will go to the COPE Visitor Center where you will learn about unexploded ordnances. Inside the COPE Visitor Center you will find a gift shop where you can purchase t-shirts, postcards, and other items or simply make a donation. There is also a documentary on the project, please ask if you wish to watch it. During November to March a trip can be made to Ban Donkasai. People here rely on their farming activities for their survival; mainly grow jujube, sapodilla, corns, and salads.
Lao cuisine relies heavily on the freshest produce and incorporates a range of intriguing flavors, many unfamiliar to the western palate. You will begin with an early morning tour of Vientiane'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 and pestle, and cook over an open fire. Recipes are provided for you to take back home.
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.
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.
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.
Olive Ramchand ,
June 03, 2014
"I have to admit, this was the BEST vacation I ever had. The tour was nothing less than Fantastic! The hotels were great, the guides were great, the transportation was great, the places were great, the people were great, the food was great and last but not least China, itself was out of this world. I'm so glad I booked this tour and would recommend this to anyone. Thanks so much for all your help, your interest and your recommendations. Steve in China was so attentive, he called constantly to make sure everything was fine. We really had a fabulous time and even my jaded husband who normally only seems to care about where the nearest golf course is, was impressed and had a wonderful time.
Thanks again, and unto the next vacation (although I don't know how we would top this one!!)
Jeanne Tarvin ,
April 21, 2014
"The tour was absolutely fabulous. It all started with the planning. Kathryn graciously accommodated our tight schedule and multiple needs, including a mid-trip change in plans. The tour guides and drivers were all great and extremely knowledgeable. The accommodations and meals were fantastic. I was apprehensive about going to China not knowing the language but it worked out great!"
January 15, 2014
"We just returned on Monday from our wonderful trip to South Korea, Bangkok and Phuket. I wanted to thank you for all of your hard work in planning our tours and adventures. Everything was spot on, from our arrivals at the airports, to the guides and the tours. I would not hesitate to recommend you and your company. It was truly a wonderful vacation. Thank you again.
Bob Feldman ,
November 19, 2013
"I wanted to let you know that our trip to China was great! Everybody enjoyed themselves. When planning a trip I am always concerned about the itinerary, the vehicles and the guides. All 3 of these were great. The guides were particularly good and in this case really made the trip a pleasure. Overall a great trip. Thanks for all you did."
Gloria DeWeese ,
October 10, 2013
"A wonderful trip and everything went like clockwork. Thank you so very much for all your assistance. I hope I will have a chance to work with you again."
Wayne Gavioli ,
September 04, 2013
"We just returned from our thailand/cambodia trip. It was fantastic. You did a great job. The guides were excellent as was the drivers. We loved the Victoria Hotel you selected in Siem. Wish we had more time. Thailand met our expectations but our expectations for Cambodia were low and they exceeded them. Loved the places selected for the included lunches. Certainly would use Kensington again"
Santo Filice ,
August 30, 2013
"Thank you for arranging our guided trip to Thailand - Vietnam. It was a memorable, and pleasant trip - a 1st for us with Kensington tours and a most enjoyable one. We found that we were able to maximize our visit of the the area without the concern of booking hotels, airline, finding parking and understanding the local language. "
Tim Mesarch ,
August 02, 2013
"Alexis helped us fit in all of the sites we wanted to see on our trip to Thailand and Cambodia, and suggested some more. It was valuable talking with someone who had been there and done that. The planning went pretty smoothly, and so did the trip. The local guides were all top-notch! "
July 25, 2013
"I highly recommend Kesington Tours. The planning of our trip to Cambodia was outstanding. Our advisor Alexis Mayer was unbelievably patient, knowledgeable and responsive. We planned the trip in every possible detail and Alexis was extraordinary during the whole process. Once we were in Cambodia, we had a tiny issue with the car. I was able to get in contact with Alexis right away and the problem was instantly solved. The trip itself was fantastic. Everything was very well planned and perfectly organized. The local guides and drivers were great. The hotels were very well chosen.
Great trip. I would definitely travel again with Kensington Tours."
Pennie Quintana ,
August 07, 2013
"Thank you so much for the amazing trip we enjoyed!! All our guides were fantasy. Joseph in Jakarta, July in Jojakarta and Deon in Borneo!! Wow!! Bless you for all your attention to detail and the outstanding communication to all my questions. You made me feel so taken care of and tended too!! "
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