Secrets of Laos Tailor-made
Day 1: To Bangkok
Morning depart from London Heathrow with direct Thai airways flight to Bangkok.
Day 2: Luang Prabang via Bangkok
Arrive Bangkok and onward connection with Lao Airways to Luang Prabang. Met upon arrival in Luang Prabang and transferred to the hotel. Barci welcome ceremony with music and dance. Remainder of day at leisure. Three nights at Satri House.Accommodation: Satri House – Luang Prabang
Day 3: Luang Prabang
Dawn visit to observe the long lines of orange-robed Monks leaving their pagodas to receive offerings of food from the residents of Luang Prabang. It’s a unique experience. After breakfast, city tour includes the former Royal Palace, now the National Museum, Wat Mai, a Temple renowned for its golden bas-reliefs. Next see Wat Xieng Thong, perhaps the most photographed Temple in Luang Prabang, and the unique Wat Visoun, entirely rebuilt after its destruction in 1887 by the invading Black Flags from southern China. In the courtyard of Wat Visoun stands the Watermelon Stupa; shaped like the fruit it takes its name from. After lunch visit the excellent Arts and Ethnology Centre giving further insight into the ethnic mix and culture of Laos. Also visit the weaving and textile villages of Ban Xangkhong and Ban Xienglek before returning to the Old Town to climb Mount Phousi and enjoy the stunning views across Luang Prabang as the sun set.
Day 4: Luang Prabang - Cooking Class and Pak Ou Caves
Another opportunity, if wished, to see the procession of Monks receiving their food as dawn rises. After breakfast explore Lao cooking, with a masterclass under the expert instruction of a chef from the Roots and Leaves Restaurant. The class starts with a visit to the fresh produce market. After the demonstration, lunch is an opportunity to ‘enjoy’ your morning's efforts!
(Please note: there will be other guests joining you at the cooking school). Remainder of day at leisure. An afternoon departure by boat up the Mekong River to the Pak Ou caves, housing thousands of Buddha statues, hidden from the looting Chinese Haw in times gone by. The statues range from a few centimetres to the size of a human.
Day 5: Luang Prabang – Day walking excursion with Elephant and Bamboo Raft rides
Walk in the footsteps of French explorer Dr. P. Neiss, who once surveyed the local tribes around Luang Prabang. First visit the Elephant village for a brief introduction into the great work they do there. Talk with the veterinarian in the hospital and feed the awe-inspiring elephants. Later take an elephant ride through an interesting countryside to a delightful waterfall and stop for a traditional Lao lunch. After a short 1.5km trek arrive at the Nam Khan River – board a charming bamboo raft complete with pillows and mats and elegantly sip tea or coffee. It takes 30-60 minutes depending upon the current to reach the jetty.
Day 6: Luang Prabang - To Vientiane
At leisure until midday flight to Vientiane. Two nights at Settha Palace.Accommodation: The Settha Palace’s – Vientiane
Day 7: Vientiane Market and City Tour
Early morning visit to the fascinating local market of Thongkhankham, where a bewildering array of foods and produce are on offer. After breakfast city tour to include: Wat Sisaket, the only Temple to be left intact after the Siamese invasion in 1828. It’s arguably the most beautiful temple in Vientiane and houses thousands of miniature Buddha statues within its walls. Next is Wat Phra Keo, now a religious museum, with many Lao and Khmer works of art on display. Also see the Patuxai monument - also called Anousavari – climb the steps to the roof for fabulous views; visit That Luang, the holiest place in Laos, and Wat Simuang, the most popular and venerated Temple in Vientiane. Stop at Talat Sao, the morning market, for souvenirs – look out for silk and silver jewellery.
After lunch visit the quirky Buddha Park, an enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures situated on a Mekong Riverside meadow outside of the city centre. The statues were created by a mysterious Monk to spread his philosophy on life and revealing his ideas about the universe. Stop at the Lao Disabled Women’s Centre, which provides valuable training and schooling for disabled women in Laos.
Day 8: To Pakse, Bolaven Plateau, Tad Lo Waterfalls
Morning transfer to the airport for flight to Pakse. On arrival start the journey east across the Bolaven Plateau, passing by many plantations producing coffee, tea, cardamom and bananas. The area is also famous for its many waterfalls; the most beautiful is Tad Fan. During high waters, the scene is spectacular with twin waterfalls plummeting into the deep gorge below. Visit the ethnic minority group villages of Alak, Nge, and Katu. Take a sunset swim in the waterfall. Overnight at La Folie Lodge.Accommodation: La Folie Lodge Champassak
Day 9: Vat Phou Cruise
After meeting at the Sinouk Coffee House in central Pakse transfer via long tail riverboat, for a two and half house journey to Champassak. Upon arrival at the Vat Phou boat, check into your cabins. Later visit Vat Phou ruins - the majestic pre-Angkorian 10th century temple complex. Two nights on board the Vat Phou Cruise.Accommodation: Vat Phou Cruise
Day 10: Vat Phou Cruise
Breakfast is on board as we set sail for the village of Tomo. This is a small village a few minutes walk away from the mysterious hidden forest temple of Oum Muong. Afterwards rejoin the boat to continue cruise southwards. Lunch is on the deck, while leisurely sailing closer to the wild paradise of the "4,000 Islands" Late afternoon disembark from the boat to walk through Ban Deua Tia, a small Laotian Village where the traditional way of life has not changed in centuries.
Day 11: Vat Phou Cruise – La Folie Lodge
While you have breakfast on the deck, the Vat Phou boat cruises down the Mekong to the small village of Ban Veuthong, where you board a small boat to meander among the 4,000 Islands to Khone Island. Return to the mainland, visiting Khone Phapheng, considered, by volume, to be the largest waterfall in South East Asia. In the afternoon boat trip across the Mekong to the island of Don Daeng. Three nights at the La Folie Lodge.Accommodation: La Folie Lodge Champassak
Day 12-13: At leisure
At leisure at La Folie Lodge.
Day 14: To London via Pakse and Bangkok
Transfer to Pakse airport to board Lao Airways flight to Bangkok connecting onwards with Thai Airways to London.
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|Price per person (Double/Twin share)|
- International & internal flights in economy class.
- Accommodation in a double/twin sharing room with en-suite facilities.
- Daily breakfast throughout. Fullboar meals on Vat Phu Cruise. Lunch at cookery class on Day 4 and Picnic lunch on Day 5.
- Services of English speaking guide during sightseeing.
- Transfers as per the itinerary by air-conditioned car.
- Excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary.
- Full ATOL Bonding.
- Visa Fee.
- Any optional Excursions.
- Any expenses of a personal nature.
- Travel Insurance.