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Laos Tours

North to South 2

Laos Tours - North to South 2

Explore the whole of Laos from North to South

 

Tour details: Laos - North to South 2

 

Highlights:

  • Elephant trek
  • Two cruises on the Mekong
  • Meeting the mountain peoples of the region
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang
  • The capital city - Vientiane
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wat Phou

 

 

Day 1: Chiang Rai
(././.) 

Welcome at Chiang Rai Airport and transfer to your hotel in the heart of Chiang Rai. You have time to relax after your journey before dinner (not included) and overnight stay at your hotel.

 


Day 2: Chiang Rai - Luang Namtha
(Breakfast/./.) 

After breakfast, you leave for the Lao border where your local English-speaking guide is waiting to help with the visa formalities. You are in the province of Bokeo - a region rich in magnificent mountain scenery and the diversity of ethnic groups who live there. You visit the local market before taking your lunch (not included) in one of the local restaurants. After lunch, you climb to the summit of the hill which dominates the town of Houei Xai and the surrounding countryside.

You leave for Luang Namtha and stop to visit a typical village of the Lamten people with it's distinctive architecture. You arrive in Luang Namtha at the end of the afternoon. Dinner (not included) and overnight stay in your hotel.

Laos-Ethic groups-Akha

 


Day 3: Luang Namtha & Muang Sing
(Breakfast/ Lunch/.) 

 In the morning you drive (40 mins.) to the village of Ban Nam Yang where you follow a forest trail to Muang Sing. You climb to the summit of the mountain and stop to enjoy the superb views whilst eating your picnic lunch. After lunch, you descend to a mountain stream where your guide will identify the animal tracks along the banks. You continue on to a village of the Akha people and one of the village hunters will demonstrate his talents at imitating the local birdlife. You begin the return to Luang Namtha and if time permits, you stop to visit a Thai Dam (Black Thai) village. The women of the village are renowned for their production of the rice alcohol - Lao Lao following recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation. You arrive back in Luang Namtha at the end of the day. Dinner (not included) and overnight stay at your hotel.

 


Day 4: Luang Namtha - Oudom Xai
(Breakfast/ Lunch/.) 

You set off for Oudom Xai passing through some stunning mountain scenery. On the way, you stop to visit one of the numerous ethnic villages built on the mountainside. Lunch (not included) is taken in one of the local restaurants. After lunch, you continue on to Oudom Xai, a major commercial crossroads linking China and Laos. You visit the temple at the summit of Mount Phou Tha and the local market. The end of the day is free for you to relax or explore the town (you guide stays at your disposal). Dinner (not included) and overnight stay at your hotel.

Laos-North Laos-rice fields

 


Day 5: Oudom Xai - Pak Beng
(Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner) 


After breakfast, you leave for the district of Pak Beng. You journey will take around 4½ hours (including comfort breaks and stops to visit villages of the different ethnic groups of the region - Tai Dam, Tai Khao, Hmong & Kamu). You pass through some magnificent mountains and scenery alog the way. You are in the heart of northern Laos and in Pak Beng you find Chinese & Vietnamese merchants mixing with the local people as they buy and sell supplies. Lunch is at your hotel - Pak Beng Lodge. After lunch, you cross the Mekong in a flat-bottomed boat, to go to a Mahout Camp on the other side of the river. The Mahouts will take you, on the back of their elephants, into the Lao jungle - an elephant trek of around 2 hours that gives you some stunning views of the Mekong. On your return to the camp, you can help the Mahouts bather their elephants. You cross back to the Lodge - dinner and overnight stay.

 


Day 6: Pak Beng - Luang Prabang
(Breakfast/ Lunch/.) 

After an early breakfast (7am), you set off for a cruise on the Mekong to Luang Prabang. As you descend this famous river, you have the chance to stop and meet some of the people who live along its banks. Your lunch is served on-board the boat. In the afternoon, you reach the confluence of the Nam Ou & Mekong rivers. It's here that you find the famous Pakhou Caves: Tham Ting & Tham Phoum. Carved into the hillside, the caves contain hundreds of statues of Buddha, in all shapes & sizes, that have been put in this sacred place by the local people. You continue your cruise to Luang Prabang and transfer to your hotel. Dinner (not included) and overnight stay at your hotel.

Pakhou Caves

  


Day 7: Luang Prabang
(Breakfast/ ./.) 


The ancient royal capital of Laos and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995, Luang Prabang leaves a lasting impression on all who visit it's lantern lit streets. A melting pot of people and cultures with a surprise around every corner - pastel coloured colonial houses, sumptuous temples and small shops on the banks of the two rivers that flow around the city. You'll be charmed by the colonial and religious heritage that gives Luang Prabang a unique atmosphere. Your morning begins with a visit to Wat Aham and Wat Visoun, the oldest temple in the city. The stupa at Wat Visoun, known as That Mak Mo because of it's watermelon shape (Mak mo means watermelon in Lao), was built around 1504 and restored by Henri Mouhot who also restored the temples of Angkor. The old city sits on a peninsula between the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers and contains many temples or wats. Wat Xieng Thong, certainly one of the most beautiful temples, sits at the northern end of the peninsula. As you stroll through the narrow streets with their blend of colonial houses, temples, greenery and palm trees, you have the chance to meet the local people as they go about their daily lives.

Lunch (not included) is taken in one of the local restaurants. After lunch, you continue to explore the city and in the late afternoon, you climb to the summit of Mount Phou Si to discover the wonderful panorama of the city and enjoy the spectacular sunset. You can explore the famous night market before taking your dinner (not included) and overnight stay at your hotel.





 Laos-Luang Prabang-Temple


 


Day 8: Luang Prabang
(Breakfast/./.)

A free day to browse around the peninsula.

 


Day 9: Luang Prabang - Vientiane
(Breakfast/./.)

A free morning to relax at your hotel or take one last stroll around Luang Prabang before your transfer to the airport. After your arrival in Vientiane and transfer to your hotel, you have time to check-in before starting your tour of the capital. Vientiane is a world away from the other noisy and polluted capitals of South East Asia. Indeed, it's more like a provincial town than a capital city - the population is only around half a million people. The city stretches along the banks of the Mekong which makes for a pleasant stroll in the evening. You discover the many facets of Vientiane; from quaint old colonial houses, a tangle of Chinese buildings and glittering golden Buddhist temples to bustling markets and street vendors. The mix of Chinese, French and Thai architecture gives an ambiance only rivalled by Luang Prabang. Your tour begins with Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple in the city and continues to Ho Prakeo, a royal temple converted into a museum, that once housed the Emerald Buddha (now found in Bangkok). The next stop is at the national monument That Luang with it's 45m high golden stupa. Your tour concludes with Patu Xay which is similar to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and offers a beautiful panoramic view across the city. Dinner (not included) and overnight stay at your hotel.


Laos-Vientiane-Street Vendor

 


Day 10: Vientiane - Champassak
(Breakfast/./.)


Transfer to the airport for your early morning flight to Pakse. On arrival, you are greeted by your English-speaking guide who specialises in the south of Laos. You leave for Champassak by boat, sailing down the Mekong for around 2 hours. You have time to explore this small village before continuing on to the second UNESCO World Heritage Site in Laos - Wat Phou. It was built in the 5th or 6th century and so is older than the temples at Angkor. The temple was a Hindu shrine for over 1,000 years before becoming a sacred place for Theravada Buddhists. You have time to browse around the site and visit the museum before your lunch (not included). In the afternoon, you continue on to Oum Muang, situated on the banks of the Mekong. It was once the staging post for boats bringing merchandise from Cambodia. The majority of the brick structures are ruins and archaeological excavation of the site only began in the 1950's. You route finishes at your hotel. Dinner (not included) and overnight stay.


 


Day 11: Champassak - 4,000 Islands - Pakse
(Breakfast/./.)

A day exploring the 4,000 Islands - you set off by road for the island of Done Khong where your river boat is waiting. Your cruise of around 1½ hours takes you to the islands of Don Det & Don Khone. You make a detour to the waterfalls at Khone Phapeng; the point where the lazy rhythm of the Mekong is broken by falls over 14m high. The falls are the largest in SE Asia (by volume of water). Lunch (not included) in one of the local restaurants on Don Khone. After lunch, you have time to explore the island before continuing to the waterfalls at Li Phi. You have time to enjoy the beaut of the falls before you embark on a boat trip to try and see the rare Irrawaddy River Dolphins - this is the only place outside Burma that these elusive creatures are found. Dinner (not included) and overnight stay at your hotel.

 

 

Laos-South of Laos-Khone Phapeng

 


Day 12: Pakxe - Ubon Ratchatani
(Breakfast/./.)


Transfer by road to Ubon Ratchatani. On the way, you can visit the local market in Pakse.

 

 

 

Laos-Baci Ceremony

Personal Service

 

  • An English-speaking experienced local guide is with you throughout your journey to answer any questions and facilitate each part of your holiday
  • Each of our clients has a personal travel adviser
  • We are in frequent contact with you, from the moment you arrive to your departure & we are always available for you
  • We ask you to complete a detailed questionnaire and we carefully study all the feedback we receive
  • We are regularly "out in the field" to ensure the quality and reliability of our partners