Exotic Laos 7days/6nights

Vientiane-Vang Vieng-Luang Prabang

This tour is ideal for anyone looking for an active adventure holiday. Laos is perfect for soft adventure activities and this itinerary shows you why; cycle rides through beautiful scenery, Elephant riding and kayaking are all on the menu.

Itinerary

Day1. Arrival - Vientiane
Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Your half day city tour, begin with the oldest, Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. Enroute to Lao's national precious heritage, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, you will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane's own Arc de Triumph. Wat Si Muang, site of the lak meuang (pillar-stone) of Vientiane, Si Muang temple is home to the guardian spirit of the statues. The final visit of the day will be the excellent COPE exhibition centre, highlighting a much overlooked aspect of Laos and a major problem many of the local people face on a day to day basis in the form of unexploded ordnance as a result of heavy bombing campaigns during the Vietnam War era. A spectacular view of the Mekong River at sunset is a perfect way to finish the day.
Overnight in Vientiane.
Meals: _/_/_

Day2. Vientiane – Vang Vieng (Road)
This morning we travel by the picturesque back roads to Vang Vieng. En route we stop at Ban Keun, which is famous for its salt mine. Here you can learn about the daily working life of the local people. We then continue to Nam Ngum, a picturesque lake created by damming the Nam Ngum River. Following lunch overlooking the lake, we continue north, stopping at Tha Heua, a small village that specializes in dried fish, which you will see hanging in front of the houses. We then reach Vang Vieng by mid afternoon, where we have time to visit the picturesque Tham Jang cave, that offers stunning views of over the Nam Song River and surrounding karst scenery. The rest of the day is at leisure. (The road journey today takes approximately 4-5hours including stops on the way)
Overnight in Vang Vieng.
Meals: Breakfast/_/_

 

Day3. Vang Vieng Cycling
After crossing Nam Song River on a bamboo bridge, we start the day with the exploration of one of the most unusual caves in the area: Tham Poukham, the highly auspicious and venerated "Cave of the Golden Crab".
The mountain bike tour covers approximately of 26 km behind the karst range of the Nam Song and Vang Vieng. After reaching the far side of the ridge, a steep hike leads to the main Tham Poukham Cave. It's hidden corridors are filled with an endless array of stalagmites and stalactites, besides underground lakes, deep wells and up to 80 m high chimneys. Continuing westwards, the trail gets increasingly rough. We follow the narrow valley of the Houay San stream until the Pha Deng, namely "red cliff", comes into sight to your right. Depending on the season, the bikes have to be carried across short distances (muddy patches). The village of Phonxay is the first on the banks of the Nam Khouang. The road continues south as a dirt track in good condition running parallel to the Nam Khouang. At the crossroads in Ban Nathong Tai, the road to the Nam Song Bridge is met again. Back in Vang Vieng, a sunset drink by the river marks the end of a great cycling adventure.
Moderate cycling, approximately 6 hours cycling, 2 hours walking.
Overnight in Vang Vieng.
Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/_

Day4. Vang Vieng – Luang Prabang (Road)
We leave Vang Vieng this morning, making a short photo stop at Phatang Mountain view point to admire the beautiful scenery. We also have an optional stop at Koe Kuang, which boasts a local forest market, offering edible snakes, rats and assorted reptiles! We also make a stop at Ban Hin Ngon, a picturesque Hmong village, before arriving at Phou Khoun for lunchtime. In the afternoon we stop to explore Ban Kiu Kam Pone, a Khmu village, and we have an opportunity to stretch our legs at the picturesque riverside village of Ban Nam Ming. We arrive in Luang Prabang by late afternoon. (The road journey today takes approximately 7-8hours including stops on the way)
Overnight in Lung Prabang.
Meals: Breakfast/_/_

Day5. Luang Prabang City tour
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning ritual of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms from the faithful residents. This procession is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the tradition. Afterwards, we have the option of visiting the local morning market, before returning to the hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast, we visit the Royal Palace Museum which hosts a range of interesting artefacts (closed on Tuesday). We then begin our temple tour taking in some the cities most beautiful, including the magnificent Wat Xiengthong, with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, representing the classical Luang Prabang style, as well as Wat Visoun, known as 'The Water Melon Stupa' due to its shape. We will also visit the excellent Arts and Ethnology Centre which gives us a further insight into the ethnic mix and culture of Laos (closed on Monday). Later, we drive out of the town where you have the option of stopping to visit Khmu, Hmong and Lao Loum villages, representing the main ethnic groups of Laos. This then takes us to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the pools or walk along the forest trails. Late this afternoon stretching your legs climb Mount Phousi, these offers a spectacular sunset and a panoramic view over Luang Prabang and the Mekong River. Afterwards, strolling through the night market (open between 5pm-10pm) setting in downtown selling a large variety of local textiles and ethnic handicrafts.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Meals: Breakfast/_/_

Day6. Luang Prabang – Gecko Cliff full day (cycling and boat)
This cycling and boat tour takes in the rarely visited villages, temples and a waterfall all located across the Mekong River from Luang Prabang.
This morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the boat pier. Here you board your private boat for a short cruise to the ancient Royal temple of Wat Long Khoun, that was formerly used by past Kings and Queens for meditation purposes. We then cycle for approximately 30 minutes to the village of Xienmene, where you can pause to explore the quiet village, including a visit to the local school.
We then continue by bicycle along quiet unpaved roads to the unknown but beautiful Hoy Khua Waterfall. En route, we make a short stop at a Khmu village.
After enjoying a picnic lunch overlooking the waterfall, we cycle to the riverside village of Ban Pak Leuang and board our boat, following the Mekong upstream to the village of Ban Chan, famous for its pottery making. Here we will meet the locals and learn about their daily lifestyle. Following this visit we continue by private boat to Luang Prabang, arriving back in the town at approximately 4pm.
Complimentary tea and coffee served on board the boat. Moderate, approximately 3-4hours cycling, 1hour boating.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/_

Day7. Luang Prabang – Elephant riding, Tad Sae and Kayaking
A daytrip around Luang Prabang especially for the ones who want to see the Lao countryside from a different point of view… from the back of an Asian elephant and from top of a kayak. The Elephant Park Project visit with an exciting elephant ride and the visit of the Tad Sae Waterfall is the highlight of the day as well as the refreshing rapids you will paddle through on the Nam Khan.
The trip is made for beginners and is a great activity combination with animals and soft water sport elements.
After breakfast, your local guide will meet you hotel (at 8:30am.), You will proceed to the Nam Khan valley about 15 km out of town to reach the beautiful "Elephant Village". The rugged mountains in front of you and the green lush countryside is the setting for the ultimate elephant experience. Here we find time to relax and the right place for great activities. Now you will be introduced to our protected Asian elephants in the project area and start your scenic elephant ride. Enjoy the new perspective and the wonderful nature on this 1 hr. ride through the Nam Khan River and forest. Afterwards a boat will take you to the amazing cascades and pools of the Tad Sae waterfalls. (waterfall dry between February & August.)
Hang out at the lunch break and enjoy either the refreshing cascades or our mountainous view terrace for your lunch. After a short instruction you will experience the life along the Nam Khan river. It will be a soft 3-4 hr. kayaking tour back into town, with just a few small rapids (depending on season). Even for inexperienced paddlers, this is an option to get into it. Village stops along the way are included as well as a pick up service at the arrival point in Luang Prabang. Full day activity plus soft Kayaking Grade easy to moderate, Elephant riding about 1 hr.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/_

Day8. Luang Prabang - departure
Depending on your departing flight you may have time at leisure before your transfer to the airport for departure.
Meals: Breakfast/_/_

Photographs
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