Laos - sample Itinerary

Central and South Laos (13days/12nights)

Vientiane-Kong Lor-Thakek-Pakse-Tadlo-Xe Pian-4000 Islands-Don Daeng

Day1. Arrive Vientiane (B)

Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Rest of the day, relax and at leisure Overnight in Vientiane. 

Day2. Vientiane – full day city tour (B) 

An early start with a visit to the fascinating local market of Thongkhankham, with a wide variety of weird and wonderful foods on offer. Explore the major sights of Vientiane: the oldest Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues; the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image; the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa; see the imposing Patuxay Monument, well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph; the excellent COPE exhibition centre. An optional lunch can be taken at the excellent Mak Phet Resataurant, which helps to train disadvantaged youth for a career in the hospitality industry. In the afternoon visit the quirky yet impressive Buddha Park by the Mekon River, an enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures, created by a mysterious monk spreading his philosophy on life and the universe. Then stop at Upon at the Lao Disabled Women’s Centre (optional), which provides valuable training and schooling for disabled women in Laos. A spectacular view of the Mekong River at sunset is a perfect way to finish the day. Overnight in Vientiane.

Day3. Vientiane – Hin Boun (B) 

After breakfast drive to the central Lao province of Khammoune. En route stop at Prabaht Ponsan, a stupa dating back to the 15th Century. It is also home to the Budhhas footprint, discovered in 1933, and now an important religious site in Laos. Following lunch visit the interesting Ban Ton Na Mae Hmong Market, before continuing onwards to Khammoune province and the mountain regions. Stop near Khoun Kham to take in the breathtaking view of the surrounding area. Finally see Ban Thabuk, the ‘bomb boat village’ where they use old bomb casings from the Vietnam War as boats Reach Hin Boun area by mid afternoon, transfer to hotel and rest of the day at leisure. Overnight Sala Hin Boun.  

Day4. Hin Boun – Kong Lor – Thakek (B,L) 

After breakfast, drive to Kong Lor village and board a small local boat into the famous Kong Lor Cave. Navigate through the cave, which is over 7km long and includes a spectacular cavern over 100m high, as well as a breathtaking stalagmite gallery which can be explored on foot. On the other side of the cave, take a short walk past some tobacco drying huts to Ban Pon Ngam, a remote village, and enjoy a picnic lunch. Following lunch, return through the cave, and transfer directly by car to Thakek, arriving there by late afternoon, in time for a stroll along the riverfront to enjoy a sunset over the Mekong.   Overnight in Thakek. 

Day5. Thakek – Buddha Cave and trekking (B,L) 

In the morning, depart for Thakek by Tuk-tuk, following the old uncompleted French railway track destined for Vietnam. Continue to the village of Ban Nakhang Xang and meet the village guide to escort you on the trek. The guide will point out all the important local food resources. Going through a cave, enter a striking valley with towering cliffs and forest. The trail follows the shoreline of Nong Thao Lake where local fishermen work. On arrival at Tham Nong Paseum cave more adventurous swimmers can explore the cave. The cave is 400 metres long and contains dramatic stalactites and stalagmites. Back in daylight, continue to Khammouane's famous Buddha cave for a traditional Lao lunch. Afterwards, gradually make way back to reach Thakek in the late afternoon. Overnight in Thakek. 

 

Note: Moderate trekking, a good standard of fitness is required. During rainy season (May-September) the programme may be changed without prior warning to accommodate the local conditions. 

Day6. Thakek – Pakse (B) 

Today travel to Pakse. Stop to visit Tham Pa Fa or Buddha cave, rediscovered in April 2004, conntaing 229 bronze Buddhas and said to be over 300 years old! The cave is incredibly picturesque, situated high up in a limestone cliff, offering great views from the top. Continue south by road to Savannakhet in time for lunch. In the afternoon, visit the old French Quarter of Savannakhet as well as the sacred That Inhang stupa, before heading out of the town to visit Soundra Salt Factory, to observe locals working. Then continue to Pakse, with a stop at Don Khor, a village specializing in Buddha carvings for temples. Arrive in Pakse early evening and overnight. 

Day7. Pakse – Tadlo (B) 

Today drive to the Bolaven Plateau, known for its cooler climate, being located high above the Mekong Valley. First stop is Houey Ten, a Katu village specializing in knife making. Next see a tea plantation, followed by Tad Fan, a picturesque twin chute waterfall. Afterwards visit a coffee plantation, en route to Tha Teng Market, a colourful ethnic minority food market. Explore an interesting minority village, Ban Bong Neua, an Alak village, that boasts a sacrificial alter. We reach the beautiful Tadlo Waterfall in the afternoon, where you can relax at leisure. There is an option of a short elephant ride. Overnight Tadlo. 

Day8. Tadlo - Kingfisher (B) 

After an early breakfast, continue the tour of the Bolevan Plateau with a visit to Pha Suam waterfall, and explore the ethnic minority village of Lao Teung. Then drive to Xe Pian National Park’s Kingfisher Ecolodge and rest of the afternoon at leisure and overnight.

  

Day9. Kingfisher – Elephant Safari (B,L) 

Today experience a full day Safari adventure in the jungle on an elephant, reminiscent of the first foreign explorers in the country. Begin the excursion from the village of Khiat Ngong, through paddy fields and wetlands, into the jungle that surrounds the area. After two to three hours ride (depending on trail and weather conditions) dismount the elephants to allow them to feed in the forest. The guide and mahouts will serve you a delicious picnic lunch. After resting a while gradually make way back to the village through the jungle, arriving around 16:00. Overnight Kingfisher.  

Day10. Kingfisher – Khone Island - Khong Island (B) 

After breakfast, drive south to Ban Hatsaikhone, and board a local private boat for a tour of the 4000 Islands. Dock at Don Khone Island by lunchtime, and in the afternoon explore the island by bicycle, admiring some of the old French Colonial buildings and the beautiful Liphi Waterfall. Later return to the boat and journey back to the mainland, to drive on to Don Khong, arriving there by late afternoon. 

Khong Island and Wat Phou  

Day11. Khong Island – Khone Phapeng –Wat Phou- Don Daeng (B) 

Today drive to the famous waterfall of Khone Phapeng - the largest waterfall in South East Asia, also known as the 'Niagara of the east'. Then head north by road and across the Mekong by ferry to visit the fascinating pre-Angkorian ruins of Wat Phu, one of Southeast Asia's most dramatically situated temples. To end the day, travel by boat to the island of Don Daeng and stayl overnight.  

Day12. Don Daeng – free day (B) 

A free day at leisure, to relax by the pool or hire bicycles to explore the island and its enchanting little villages.
 

Day13. Don Daeng - Pakse – Departure (B) 

After breakfast, transfer back to Pakse and onto the airport for departure flight.   


Inclusive of above prices:

 

  • Transportation in private vehicle
  • Accommodation in twin shared room
  • Domestic air ticket as stated only
  • Private Boat trip as stated in above sights
  • English speaking guide
  • Admission fee to indicated sights
  • Meals: daily breakfast at hotel, lunch/dinner where stated only
  • Gov’t tax and service charge
  • Luggage handling and drinking water
  • Visa stamping fee on arrival
  • Int’l air tickets to/from Laos
  • Travel Insurance in all kinds
  • Single room (quoted separately)
  • Other foreign language guide
  • Peak tourist season or special event rates
  • Child or adult in triple sharing room
  • Tip, drinks and other personal expenses

 

Suggested Hotels for above package

Location

Boutique

Vientiane

Green Park (Deluxe)

 

Hin Boun

Sala Hin Boun (Riverfront Room)

Thakek

Inthila Hotel (Deluxe)

Pakse

Pakse Hotel (Panorama)

Tadlo

Tadlo Lodge (Standard)

Xe Pian

Kingfisher (Comfort Bungalow)

Khong Island

Senesothxeuen (Superior)

Don Daeng

La Folie Lodge (Superior)

 

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