Travel from Vientiane to Luang Prabang on an exciting Lao adventure

Experience the dreamy essence of Laos on this short but enlightening tour. See how colonial mansions, tree-lined boulevards and gilded Buddhist temples impart a unique timelessness to charming Vientiane. Next, head to the former royal capital of Luang Prabang, which never fails to enchant visitors with its abundance of temples, faded French architecture, meditating monks and friendly local inhabitants. Join pilgrims at the sacred Pak Ou Caves and absorb a golden sunset from atop Phu Si Temple. Packed with arresting sights, alluring aromas and wonderful cuisine, this is the perfect introduction to a land seemingly lost in time.

Start
Vientiane, Laos
Finish
Luang Prabang, Laos
Countries
Laos
Themes
Code
TLAB
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 5
Group size
Min 1 Max 10
Carbon offset
84kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • This trip enables you to see the best of Vientiane and Luang Prabang in a short amount of time
  • With complimentary airport arrival and departure transfers, your time in Laos will be easy and hassle free
  • Draw on the deep knowledge of expert local guides in Vientiane and Luang Prabang, from walking tours to tips on the tastiest food treats
  • This trip also includes free time in Luang Prabang, giving you the chance to make your own explorations and discover why UNESCO rate this city so highly

Itinerary

Sabaai-dii! Welcome to Laos. You will be met on arrival at Vientiane Airport by your local guide and transferred to your hotel. Please provide your flight arrival details at the time of booking, or at least 14 days before departure, to organise this transfer. If you do not need this arrival transfer, please ensure you are at the joining point hotel by 1pm to meet your local guide. Please note that a morning arrival is required so you have time for afternoon sightseeing. Vientiane is the charming and fascinating capital of Laos, with an intriguing mix of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, American and Soviet influences. Faded colonial mansions, tree-lined boulevards and old temples create an atmosphere of timelessness, particularly in the older part of town along the Mekong River. You’ll get to know the city better today on an afternoon sightseeing tour, including Wat Si Saket. It’s the oldest temple still standing in Vientiane and is home to almost 7,000 Buddha images. You’ll also stop by the former royal temple of the Lao monarchy, Wat Haw Phra Kaew, and Pha That Luang (the Great Sacred Stupa), which is the most important national monument in Laos, a symbol of both the Buddhist religion and Lao sovereignty. Don’t forget to ask your leader where to find the best bakeries today.
You can start the day with an independent visit to Vientiane's vibrant and colourful morning market, before an included afternoon flight to Luang Prabang. Once the heart and soul of the ancient Lao Kingdom (Lan Xang) and designated a World Heritage site in 1995, Luang Prabang is endowed with a legacy of historic red-roofed temples and French-Indochinese architecture, not to mention some of the country's most refined cuisine, a multi-ethnic population and rich culture. The city and its people retain a refined, yet relaxed, air and it’s a wonderful place to wander the side streets and dusty lanes and seemingly step back into another era. In the late afternoon, you’ll visit the National Museum at the former Royal Palace, a building that combines French colonial and traditional Lao architecture. The collection of treasures and artefacts reflects the richness of Lao culture, dating from the days of the early kings right through to the last sovereign, who was deposed in 1975. A large hill called Mt Phu Si dominates Luang Prabang's skyline, topped by a glittering golden stupa. You’ll climb the 328 zig-zag steps up to the sacred gilled stupa and big drum of the Phu Si Temple for a panoramic view of Luang Prabang and its surrounds at sunset.

Notes: Please note that the flight time today is subject to change, depending on availability. Your local guide will advise you of the pick-up time from your hotel. On arrival in Luang Prabang you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel.
Travel with your local guide approximately 25 kilometres along the Mekong River to the Pak Ou Caves. On the way, you’ll have the opportunity to stop at the small village of Ban Xang Hai, which means Jar-Maker Village, so named because this used to be the local cottage industry here. Nowadays, the jars come from elsewhere and the village residents fill them with fiery lao lao (the local rice wine). The Pak Ou Caves consist of two sacred limestone caverns filled with Buddha images of all styles and sizes, brought by devoted villagers over the centuries. The lower cave, known as Tham Ting, is entered from the river by a series of steps and can easily be seen in daylight. The higher cave, Tham Phum, is deeper and requires a torch for viewing. You will enjoy a picnic lunch before returning to Luang Prabang, stopping at the silk-weaving village of Ban Phanom on the way. Back in Luang Prabang, maybe sip an evening drink on the veranda of the wonderful colonial-style Villa Santi Hotel. It’s a nice way to spoil yourself and round off the evening.
Luang Prabang is easily explored on foot, and today is free for you to take a closer look at some of the beautiful temples, try one of the many restaurants along the banks of the Mekong River, or simply soak up the enchanting atmosphere. It’s worth getting up in the misty early morning to view the procession of saffron-robed monks on their daily outing collecting alms, a practice that dates back centuries. The people of the town wait out the front of their houses with food for the monks to collect and take back to the temple. It is done early, as the monks cannot eat anything after midday. By giving food to a monk you ‘het bon’ or make merit, which should augur well for your next life. Make sure you don't miss Wat Xieng Thong, the most enchanting of Laos’ monasteries. Inside you'll find monks eager to practice their English with you. Alternatively, you may want to visit the beautiful Kuang Si Falls, 32 kilometres south of town. This picturesque, multi-level cascade that offers fantastically blue pools that are perfect for a mid-afternoon dip. This evening perhaps explore the popular night bazaar, or maybe join your fellow travellers for a celebratory dinner.
This Classic Laos adventure comes to an end today, and with no activities planned, you’re free until your transfer to the airport for your departure flight. Please advise of your flight departure details at the time of booking. Note that hotel checkout time is normally 12 noon. Speak to you booking agent if you wish to stay on in Luang Prabang.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
4 breakfasts, 1 lunch
Transport
Boat, Minibus, Plane
Accommodation
Hotel (4 nights)
Included activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Sightseeing Tour including Wat Si Saket, Wat Haw Phra Kaew, Pha Taht Luang
  • Luang Prabang - Royal Palace Museum
  • Luang Prabang - Mt Phu Si
  • Village Visits- Ban Xang Hai and Ban Phanom
  • Pak Ou Caves
  • Complimentary Airport Departure Transfer

Dates

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Important notes

1. A complimentary arrival and departure transfer is included with this trip. Please advise your flight details at time of booking.
2. Please note this trip starts on day one at 1pm.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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