Highlights Of Laos

14 Night s / 15 Days

2023 Dates

Fully Guided

Highlights Of Laos

€3282pp

From only

Go Beyond Tour ¦15 Days¦Physical Level 2


Bangkok-Luang Prabang -Phonsavan -Vang Vieng -Vientiane -Khong Island -Pakse


An introduction to the pristine beauty of Laos, this 2-week journey ticks off all of the top sights, such as Luang Prabang, Plain of Jars and 4,000 Islands, as well as visiting little-explored villages to meet the friendly, local communities.



● Get spiritual in Luang Prabang

● Observe the monks for Takbat

● Admire the mystical Kuangsi waterfalls

● Wonder at the Plain of Jars

● Discover scenic Vang Vieng

● Stroll through quaint Vientiane

● Unwind at the 4000 islands


Highlights of Laos tour inclusions:



  •  All accommodation

  •  Meals as stated on your itinerary

  •  All sightseeing and entrance fees

  •  All transportation and transfers

  •  English speaking National Escort (if your group is 10 or more passengers) or Local Guides

  •  Visa fees for UK and EU passport holders(except for Laos, please refer to visa section for more information)

  •  Specialist advice from our experienced travel consultants

  •  Comprehensive travel guides

  •  Safe and secure with ABTA, ATOL and IATA



Extras:


Please ask our sales agent to price the International Flights


The only thing you may have to pay for are personal expenditure e.g. drinks, optional excursions or shows, insurance of any kind, early check in or late checkout and other items not specified on the itinerary.


Itinerary – Highlights of Laos


Day 1-2: Bangkok -Meals included: Dinner


Fly to Bangkok where you will spend the night; you will not have a guide today, you will meet your guide upon arrival in Luang Prabang.


When you arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport please go to the meeting point on the 2nd floor, inside the arrivals hall, between gates No.3 and No.4, next to the AOT Limousine counter. Our representative will be wearing a black suit jacket holding a sign with your name on it, or in case of multiple pickups, the signs may be hanging on the aluminum railing at our meeting point. Our representative’s telephone number is +66 87 546 4334. If you are unable to locate us, please go to the information counter and they will help you locate us, or you can call our hotel reception desk at +662 727 5858.


Upon arrival at the hotel please advise reception that you wish to take the complimentary shuttle bus back to the airport the following morning; the hotel will provide you with your flight ticket to Luang Prabang for the following day.


Destination Information


Bangkok

● Bangkok has been Thailand's dominant city since the 18th century. It was established as the capital after the former capital Ayutthaya was attacked by the Burmese and burned down. The emerging city, which was protected by a wall, was occupied by a large number of stilt and floating houses built to adapt to common seasonal flooding. Up until the Thailand War, Bangkok was still largely undeveloped until it became a popular place of rest and relaxation for the American soldiers, which resulted in a boom of nightclubs, massage parlours and bars. However, in the 80’s and 90’s, Bangkok underwent rapid modernisation and exploded into the metropolis it is today; a city that is lined with skyscrapers and is full of life.


Day 3: Bangkok – Luang Prabang

● Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Return to the airport via the complimentary shuttle bus for your 1 hour and 40-minute flight to Luang Prabang. Upon arrival, you will be met by your National Escort or local guide and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure before taking an evening tour of the bustling night market and browse for colourful textiles and carvings.


Destination Information


Luang Prabang

● The capital of Luang Prabang Province in northern Laos, lies in a valley at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. It’s known for its many Buddhist temples, including the gilded Wat Xieng Thong, dating to the 16th century, and Wat Mai, once the residence of the head of Laotian Buddhism.


Day 4: Luang Prabang

● Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch


Rise early this morning to witness the Buddhist ceremony of Takbat, when the monks of Luang Prabang’s monastic communities collect alms from locals. These lines of silent saffron robe-clad monks will be an enduring image of your trip. See Wat Sene and the National Museum. Visit the traditional H’mong village of Ban Na Ounae, before walking to the cascading turquoise waters of delightful Kuang Si Waterfalls for a picnic lunch. It is possible to take a swim in the river near the falls and if you wish to do this, please remember to bring along your swimsuit and a towel. Changing rooms are available on site. Stop at Ock Pop Tok Weaving Centre on the return to Luang Prabang.


Destination Information


Wat Sene

● A Buddhist temple (wat), located in Luang Prabang, Laos. It was built in 1718 by King Kitsarath with 100 000 stones from the Mekong River. It literally means ‘Temple of a 100,000 treasures’. It was restored in 1957 commemorating the Buddha’s birth 2,500 years earlier. National Museum – Built in 1904 in the French colonial era, the original building was the Royal Palace but was later converted into a museum.


Kuang Si Waterfalls

● A three tier waterfall about 29 kilometres south of Luang Prabang. The falls begin in shallow pools atop a steep hillside. These lead to the main fall with a 60 metres cascade. The falls are accessed via a trail to a left of the falls. Water collects in numerous turquoise blue pools as it flows downstream. The many cascades that result are typical of travertine waterfalls. There are walkways and bridges for your enjoyment. Most of the pools are open to swimming.


Day 5: Luang Prabang

● Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch


This morning visit Wat Xieng Thong before boarding a boat to cruise the mighty Mekong up to the sacred caves of Pak Ou, known for the hundreds of miniature Buddha sculptures that reside within. Return to Luang Prabang and visit the local villages of Thin Hong and Ban Xang Khong to witness the daily life of the local people and their cottage industries.


Destination Information


Wat Xieng Thong

● A Buddhist temple (wat), located on the northern tip of the peninsula of Luang Prabang, Laos. Wat Xieng Thong is one of the most important of Lao monasteries and remains a significant monument to the spirit of religion, royalty and traditional art. There are over twenty structures on the grounds including a sim, shrines, pavilions and residences, in addition to its gardens of various flowers, ornamental shrubs and trees.


Pak Ou Caves – Near Pak Ou (mouth of the Ou river) the Tham Ting (lower cave) and the Tham Theung (upper cave) are caves overlooking the Mekong River, 25 km to the north of Luang Prabang, Laos. They are a group of two caves on the west side of the Mekong River, about two hours upstream from the centre of Luang Prabang. The caves are noted for their miniature Buddha sculptures. Hundreds of very small and mostly damaged wooden Buddhist figures are laid out over the wall shelves. They take many different positions, including meditation, teaching, peace, rain, and reclining (nirvana).


Day 6: Luang Prabang

● Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch


Today, explore many of the former royal capital’s cultural highlights. Climb to the top of Phousi Hill and enjoy panoramic views of the city and Wat Mai, with its beautiful gilded façade. Later visit Wat Visoun, one of the oldest temples in the city, followed by Wat Aham. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure.


Destination Information


Phousi Hill

● A 100m high hill in the centre of the old town of Luang Prabang. It lies in the heart of the old town peninsula and is bordered on one side by the Mekong River and on the other side by the Nam Khan River. The hill is a local religious site, and houses several Buddhist shrines. Halfway up the hill, overlooking the Nam Khan is Wat Tham Phou Si, a Buddhist temple. At the summit of the hill, overlooking the town and surrounding countryside, is Wat Chom Si, which is also a Buddhist temple and is a tourist highlight of Luang Prabang.


Wat Visoun – Rebuilt in 1898 following fire due to Black flag Haw raiders, restoration commenced to rebuild the once oldest wooden temple in Luang Prabang from more sturdy bricks and stucco. The highlight here is a 34.5 metre tall Lotus Stupa.


Day 7: Luang Prabang – Phonsavan

● Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Drive 3 and a half hours over scenic, mountainous and windy roads to Phoukhoun for a market visit and lunch. From here continue driving for another five hours, making stops at Tham Phra Cave, for a 30 minute visit and Nong Tang Lake to see local villagers fishing for approximately one hour. Arrive in Phonsavan in the late afternoon.


Destination Information


Phonsavan

● The capital of Xiangkhoang Province

● the name stands for ‘hills of paradise’. Phonsavan is the provincial capital of Xiangkhouang Province. The countryside is dominated by green hills and pine forests. Villages consist of colourful wooden houses. Cattle raising is one of the main agricultural activities and H’mong cowboys with brown and violet cowboy hats are a common sight. Phonsavan was built in the late 1970s and replaced the old Xiangkhouang (today: Muang Khoun) which had been destroyed during the Second Indochina War. Phonsavan's most famous attraction is the nearby Plain of Jars, which has been nominated for UNESCO World Heritage status.


Day 8: Plain of Jars

● Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Head to one of the most important prehistoric sites in Southeast Asia. These mysterious clusters of giant jars are thought to be about 2,000 years old. Sightseeing here will be a full day and involve walking over uneven terrain. You will visit Site 1 where there are over 200 jars, and Site 2 which also allows you to admire the beautiful scenery of the region. There will also be visits to Muang Khoune village, home of the H’mong minority group, and the office of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), an organisation that helps clear unexploded ordnance that are a remnant of American raids during the Vietnam War.


Destination Information Plain of Jars

● A megalithic archaeological landscape in Laos. It consists of thousands of stone jars scattered around the upland valleys and the lower foothills of the central plain of the Xieng Khouang plateau. The jars are mostly arranged in clusters ranging in number from one to several hundred.


The Xieng Khouang Plateau is located at the northern end of the Annamese Cordillera, the principal mountain range of Indochina. A French researcher in the early 1930s concluded that the jars were associated with prehistoric burial practices. Excavation by Lao and Japanese archaeologists in the intervening years has supported this interpretation with the discovery of human remains, burial goods and ceramics around the jars. The Plain of Jars dates back to the Iron Age (500 BC to 500 AD) and is one of the most important prehistoric sites in Southeast Asia.


Day 9: Phonsavan – Vang Vieng

● Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Drive approximately 7 hours to Vang Vieng, stopping en route for about 1 hour at Pathang Village to admire the spectacular views over karst mountain landscapes. Spend the afternoon exploring the magnificent Tham Chang Cave which involves one hour on foot over uneven surfaces, and climbing steps to reach the cave.


Destination Information


Vang Vieng

● A town in Vientiane Province about four hours bus ride north of the capital. The town lies on the Nam Song River. The most notable feature of the area is the karst hill landscape surrounding the town.


Tham Chang Cave

● Tham Jang is a cave just to the southwest of Vang Vieng, Laos. The cave is reached by crossing a bridge that spans across the Nam Song River. You will need to then climb a long flight of steps to the entrance. A spring is located about 50m inside the cave. The cave was used as a bunker in the early 19th century during the Chinese-Ho invasion.


Day 10: Vang Vieng – Vientiane

● Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch


Continue driving 3 and half hours south to Vientiane, Laos’ capital. Nestled in a languid bend in the Mekong, Vientiane is a delightfully quaint city, more a friendlier backwater than the chaotic capital. Spend the rest of the day exploring with visits to Wat Si Saket, Wat Phra Keo, That Luang Stupa, and the Patuxai Victory Monument, resembling Paris’ Arc de Triomphe. Sightseeing today involves around 2 to 3 hours on foot.


Destination Information


Wat Si Saket

● Wat Si Saket is a Buddhist wat built in 1818 on the order of King Anouvong (Sethathirath V.) Wat Si Saket was built in the ‘Siamese style’ of Buddhist architecture, with a surrounding terrace and an ornate five-tiered roof, rather than in the Lao style. This may have kept it safe, since the armies of Siam that sacked Vientiane following Anouvong's rebellion in 1827 used the compound as their headquarters and lodging place. It may be the oldest temple still standing in Vientiane. The French colonial government restored Wat Si Saket in 1924 and again in 1930. Wat Si Saket features a cloister wall with more than 2,000 ceramic and silver Buddha images.


That Luang Stupa

● A gold-covered large Buddhist stupa in the centre of Vientiane. Since its initial establishment, suggested to be in the 3rd century, the stupa has undergone several reconstructions as recently as the 1930s due to foreign invasions of the area.


Patuxai Victory Monument

● Patuxai means Victory Gate or Gate of Triumph. and, is a war monument in the centre of Vientiane. It was built between 1957 and 1968. The Patuxai is dedicated to those who fought in the struggle for independence from France.


Day 11: Vientiane – Khong Island

● Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Rise early for a morning flight to Pakse, the flight will be approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. On arrival drive to Champassak to visit the World Heritage-listed Wat Phou, a ruined Khmer temple complex located in the incredibly beautiful landscapes of Mount Phu Kao. Continue to Khong Island, the largest island of the Si Phan Don archipelago in the Mekong River. The afternoon is at leisure.


Destination Information


Wat Phou

● A ruined Khmer Hindu temple complex in southern Laos. It is located at the base of mount Phu Kao, some 6 km from the Mekong River in Champassak province. There was a temple on the site as early as the 5th century, but the surviving structures date from the 11th to 13th centuries. The temple has a unique structure, in which the elements lead to a shrine where a linga dedicated to Lord Shiva was bathed in water from a mountain spring. The site later became a centre of Theravada Buddhist worship.


Day 12: Khong Island

● Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Around Si Phan Don, meaning ‘4,000 islands’, the pace of life is slow and easy and the river views are gorgeous. See the magnificent Khone Phapheng and pop over to Khone Island to discover its charming colonial buildings and see Liphi Waterfall, nicknamed the Devil’s Corridor. Depending on the season, you may see local fisherman in action. The rest of the day is at your leisure.


Destination Information


Khone Phapheng Waterfall

● The largest in Southeast Asia and the main reason the Mekong is not fully navigable into China. The fall is characterised by thousands of islands and countless waterways, giving the area its name Si Phan Don or 'The 4,000 islands'.


Liphi Waterfalls

● A roaring collection of powerful falls spilling down at odd angles along a branch of the characteristically coffee-coloured Mekong River.


Day 13: Khong Island – Pakse

● Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Drive 2 hours from Khong Island to Pakse, stopping to admire Tad Yuan and Tad Fane waterfalls as you go. Tad Fane is a set of twin 120m-high waterfalls formed by the merging waters of the Champy and Pak Koot rivers. These impressive falls are situated on the edge of Dong Hua Sao protected wildlife area, 38km from Pakse. Continue on to the Bolaven Plateau to pay a visit to a coffee plantation and learn about the process of planting, harvesting and roasting the beans. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner back in Pakse.


Destination Information


Bolaven Plateau

● Located in an ancient volcano that erupted millions of years ago, the area spans 50km of southern Laos most vegetated area. From an altitude of 800 and 1350m it is green all year round and cooler than the rest of Laos and Thailand. Surrounding the plateau there are a number of protected national parks, dramatic waterfalls, remote hill tribes, dense jungle and a taste of some of the world's best coffee beans.


Pakse

● The gateway to southern Laos, sits at the confluence of the Mekong River and the Se Don (Don River). The city retains fewer colonial-era buildings remain, but do look for the grandiose, Franco-Chinesestyle Chinese Society building in the centre of town.


Day 14

● 15: Depart Pakse -Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner


This morning you will check-out of your hotel and transfer to the airport for your overnight flight to the UK, flying via Bangkok. Due to the long transit at Bangkok Airport for passengers travelling to the UK (approximately 6 hours), dinner and day rooms at The Cottage Suvarnabhumi Hotel will be provided for your comfort. On arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, make your way to level 2 and between exits 3 and 4 (inside the arrivals hall) look for The Cottage Suvarnabhumi Hotel sign. Here you will find your Hotel Representative who will organise your complimentary shuttle bus transfer to the hotel which takes approximately 30 minutes. Upon arrival at the hotel please advise reception that you wish to take the complimentary shuttle bus back to the airport later in time for your international flight back home.



Dates

 15/03/23 & 11/10/23 & 08/11/23 & 13/03/24 & 09/10/24 & 06/11/24