(Vientiane, Luang Prabang)
Private guided tour of Vientiane, Vang Viene and Luang Prabang. See the country in a unique and interesting way, from Baci ceremonies to elephant trekking. Your private guide will help you discover the cities treasures. An exciting adventure with private guides and the hassle free comfort of Kensington's 24/7 support.
Airport transfer with driver to Vientiane Hotel.
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.
Drive north from Vientiane to Nam Ngum Lake, about 90 km in total. On the way stopover to visit Vang Xang, a small archaeological site of Mon origin located near a small river. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant overlooking the lake. Embark on a traditional boat trip for 1 hour on the vast and beautiful Nam Ngum lake. Return to Vientiane via Ban Keun near Phou Khao Khouay. On the way, stop to see the traditional salt extraction at Ban Keun. Arrive Vientiane end of afternoon.
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.
Airport transfer with private guide, driver and vehicle.
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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