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Style: Laos Sightseeing Tours
Hightlights: Vientiane - Xieng Khouang - Luang Prabang - Pakou Caves
Description: The charming and fascinating capital of Laos, Vientiane is a small city conjuring up exotic images, with the curious mix of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese
Day 1: Arrival Vientiane
On arrival at Wattay Airport, you are met by our guide and transferred to hotel. The charming and fascinating capital of Laos, Vientiane is a small city conjuring up exotic images, with the curious mix of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French influences.
We start our half day city tour with Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple still standing in Vientiane. This amazing structure features remarkable frescoes and Buddha statues. Close to this masterwork is the former royal temple of Haw Pha Kaew which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. We see these sites before we continue to Patouxai standing in Lane Xang Avenue.
This imposing monument is well known as Vientiane's own Arc de Triomphe and provides a stunning views of the city. We round off our day with a visit to the great sacred masterpiece and symbol of Laos, That Luang Stupa.
O/N in Vientiane.
Day 2: Vientiane - Xieng Khouang
The bustling central market in the heart of Vientiane, sells a wide away of local treasures. We see this famous trading center on a short walking tour before we head out to visit the giant Friendship Bridge and the impressive Buddha Park. This landmark represents a blend of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures created by mystical monk on a parkland located by the Mekong River.
By early afternoon we embark on a flight taking us over the mountainous region to Xieng Khouang. This remote province was devastated by American bombing between 1964 and 1973. On arrival we set off on a short drive to visit the "Plan of Jars" , an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are littered all over the plateau. These huge jars are supposedly over 2,000 years old, but most of archaeologists are still mystified about their purpose.
O/N in Xieng Khouang.
Day 3: Xieng Khouang - Luang Prabang ( Overland)
Upon leaving Phonsavanh we set off on our drive along a zigzag route through the rugged and verdant landscape to Luang Prabang. These back roads are a great way to explore the real Laos. We see very few other travellers, mostly rural dwellers who are just as interested in finding out about our lives as we are of theirs. The journey is very long but we can make stops at our pleasure, to stretch the legs and visit some roadside villages.
They are home of the Hmong people who are very poor but possess an interesting local culture and a colourful history. By mid afternoon we arrives in Luang Prabang and stroll around to catch our first glimpse of this town on a walking tour. The royal capital of the former Lane Xang Kingdom, Luang Prabang with its gleaming temple roofs, colonial architecture and stunning mountain backdrop, retains an unique charm rarely found in all Asia.
O/N in Luang Prabang.
Day 4: Luang Prabang
The exploration of this delightful town includes the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong, which is overlooking the Mekong River. The temple structures are decorated in various ways with gilded stuccoes , doorways and marvellous tree life mosaic pattern on an outer wall, representing the ancient temple architecture of Luang Prabang. We follow it with the national museum. This interesting mansion displays a lovely collection of treasures and artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign.
There are also plenty to see in this town, some of which are the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun, the Srilankalese styled temple of That Marko, the shrine of Wat Aham and the five tiered roof Wat Mai. We visit these sites and embark on a walk up to Phousi Hill for a beautiful panorama view from the town center and the mighty Mekong River. There are 329 steps leading us on zigzag way past various temples to the sacred, gilded stupa of Wat Phousi at the summit.
O/N in Luang Prabang.
Day 5: Luang Prabang - Pakou Caves - Vientiane
Today we board a boat for a leisurely trip on the Mekong River, stopping en route at Ban Xang Hai to visit the distillation of potent local rice wine. Upon leaving this riverside village we wave our way through the stunning mountain landscape to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. They are crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes, all brought there by devout villagers. We explore these famous grottos and cruise back to Luang Prabang Town.
On arrival we catch a short drive to Ban Phanom , a well known weaving village of the Tai Lue people who used to make royal silk weaving textiles for the Lao former royal family. The remainder of time is free for your own exploration before taking a flight back to Vientiane. An ideal way of spending your last evening in Laos is to relax in a café by the riverfront.
O/N in Vientiane.
Day 6: Vientiane Departure
There is a free time for your own exploration of the city and catching up on some shopping areas. The trip ends after your transfer to Wattay Airport for departure.
- Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
- Meal as mentioned: B = breakfast, L = Lunch, D = dinner
- Accommodation: twin sharing room at mentioned hotels or similar one
- English or French speaking guide
- Entrance fee to indicated sights
- Boat trip in Luang Prabang
- Domestic flight Vientiane - Xieng Khouang
- Luang Prabang - Vientiane
- Other meals
- Airport tax
- Single room supplement
- Personal expenses
- Travel insurance
- Flight in / out of Laos
- Any optional additional tours or activities during free time
- Surcharge for peak season
- Local holiday days and gala dinner