(Vientiane, Luang Prabang)
Interacting with one of the wisest and most gentle creatures in the animal kingdom is a spiritual experience, and riding your elephant through the green countryside and rugged mountains of Luang Prabang, you’ll feel a deep connection to this serene, slow-paced land.
Laos was once known as ‘The Land of a Million Elephants’ and an up-close experience with these gentle giants is a highlight of this trip. Among the many others are taking in the city views of Vientiane from atop the Patuxai monument; examining the Buddhist rock carvings at Vang Xang; exploring the ornate temples of Luang Prabang by bicycle; cruising to the Pak Ou caves of the Mekong in a traditional wooden boat; and witnessing the amazing cascades and pools of the Tad Sae waterfalls. There’s also an irresistible gourmet aspect to the trip as you visit local produce markets, organic village farms, and learn to cook with exotic Laos flavors.
In addition to taking in the breath-taking scenery of this beautiful country, your team of knowledgeable local guides will introduce you to the rich spiritual side of its people as you explore Buddhist temples and take part in a sacred Baci ceremony that brings good luck through strings tied to your wrist. You’ll also experience the warm hospitality of the Laos people at a range of luxury accommodation that includes elegant boutique hotels, river-side resorts and charming old-world retreats.
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 and English speaking guide.
Ansara Hotel is Vientiane’s small-size boutique destination that will delight the visitor at first sight. A unique visual treat in the heart of the capital, the hotel combines quiet sophistication with genuine functionality. Providing just 14 rooms and suites, the emphasis is on personalized attention to its guests, catering to the needs of individual travelers and only accommodating parties not exceeding 8 people. Elegant yet relaxed, the hotel exudes the warm and inviting feel of a private home while professionally addressing guests’ needs for comfort and practicality.
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.
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.
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!
You will be picked up by a private vehicle with your English speaking guide and transferred from Vientiane to Vang Vieng. Along the way you will stop at H’mong village market and Vang Xang to see Buddhist rock carvings.
Visit an organic farm in Phoudindaeng village just outside of Vang Vieng. This farm has introduced organic farming methods in an area where chemicals and deforestation were ruining the land. It is a community development project that provides employment, information, training to preserve traditional Lao farming practices through several projects. Afterwards, your guide will take you back to town for a boat ride on Nam Song River.
Located on the banks of the Nam Song River, next to a small wooden bridge, the Riverside Boutique Resort is a luxury hotel set in a tropical garden and organized around a central swimming pool. There are thirty four rooms and suites, as well as a restaurant and bar, offering stunning views over the limestone mountains of Vang Vieng. With a beautiful design by award-winning architect Sakpaseuth Phanrajsavong, the Riverside Boutique Resort is the first high-end hotel in the country that systematically celebrates the exceptional cultural and natural diversity of Laos. Prominent artists and artisans have contributed their talent in order to showcase various aspects of the country’s beauty and traditions. The rooms, in particular, feature original decors inspired by eight ethnic groups: the Akha, Hmong, Katu, Lanten, Lao Lum, Tai Daeng, Tai Lue and Yao. Although the Riverside Boutique Resort reflects the wealth and elegance of its Lao heritage, it also strives to provide international-level services. The Riverside Boutique Resort is the result of an international partnership with the Greenpark Boutique Hotel in Vientiane.
Along the way admire the beautiful scenery and your guide will stop at points where you will have the chance to visit the local villages.
In the evening, you will be taken to visit a local market. Observe what the local sellers sell and how they sell their produce.
Continue on with your guide from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang which is about 250 km.
The Maison Souvannaphoum was once the home to Laotian royalty, it exudes old world charm but with a touch of the contemporary. This hotel also features the celebrated Angsana Spa, ideal for discerning guests. Each guest room is warm and inviting, with a modern décor that is also reminiscent of the colonial era. Be tempted by a variety of mouth-watering French, Laotian and Indochinese dishes at The Elephant Blanc, all served up in a casually chic poolside setting. The former residence of Prince Souvannaphouma in the 1960s and 70s, Maison Souvannaphoum is the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring the ancient temples and enchanting scenery of Luang Prabang.
Explore Luang Prabang by bicycle. Visit former royal temples, Wat Visun where you can see the Biggest Buddha statue, Wat Xieng Thong the most beautiful temple in Luang Prabang with its mosaic decoration and the former royal carriage. Visit the Museum (former king's palace), then climb up Mt Phousi overlooking the city of Luang Prabang. Time permitting, take a ride around the outskirts of town.
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.
Laos was once referred to as ‘The Land of a Million Elephants” and you have the chance to get up and close with these gentle giants. You will be picked up from your hotel and proceed to the Nam Khan valley about 15 km out of town. The rugged mountains in front of you and the green countryside are the setting for the Elephant Village. Here you will find time to relax and learn about the Asian elephants. You will be introduced to the protected Asian elephants in the project area and go out for an amazing scenic ride. Enjoy the new perspective and the wonderful nature on this 1 hr. ride through the Nam Khan River and forest. Afterwards, a boat will take you to the amazing cascades and pools of the Tad Sae waterfalls. (Please note the waterfall dries out between February & August.) Lunch will be served at the Elephant Village while enjoying the views over the river and into the surrounding landscapes and mountains. After a short instruction, you will experience the life along the Nam Khan River. It will be 4 hrs. kayaking back into town with a few rapids (depending on season). Even for inexperienced paddlers, this is an option to get into it. Village stops along the way are included as well as a pickup service at the arrival point in Luang Prabang.
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"
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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
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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!! "
Denise Abadi ,
June 21, 2013
"We have just returned from our trip to Malaysia and wanted you to know how much we enjoyed the itinerary you put together for us. Our guides were personable and very knowledgeable about the various places we visited. We were amazed by the sights, sounds and friendliness of the people we encountered. Needless to say, it was a most memorable trip and one of the
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July 11, 2013
"Sunita, my wife and I had a wonderful time in China. The hotels were superb. Our guides were excellent. They spoke good English, were knowledgeable, and flexible. It was a wonderful trip. We particularly enjoyed the Yangtze River cruise. We will certainly consider your firm for international travel in the future."
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June 14, 2013
"We had a great time and our guide in Bejing was fantastic! Thanks much for all your help."
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