One of our most popular Laos holidays; this 11-day perfect introduction to Laos is superb value and shows you the best of the country. You start your journey in the beautiful UNESCO-protected town of Luang Prabang before delving into the beautiful countryside of nearby Nong Khiaw, which has one of the country’s scenic river journeys and a delightful little boutique hotel. Then we fly you south to soak up the tranquility of the 4,000 Islands and the slow-paced river life of Champasak.
You will be met at Luang Prabang Airport by your private driver and English-speaking guide who will take you to one of the most exquisite hotels in this UNESCO protected town. Le Sen is one of our favourite small boutique hotels with a pool in the town – it is the perfect oasis after a long flight! If you want to head into the centre it is a short tuk-tuk ride away – or 10 minute walk.
This morning we will show you the key sites that have made Luang Prabang the cultural capital of Laos including the quaint Royal Palace Museum, the picturesque temple of Wat Visoun and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong, with its roof sweeping low to the ground. We also visit the excellent Arts and Ethnology Centre before you enjoy the afternoon at leisure to soak up this idyllic town.
Rise early this morning and partake in the daily morning ritual of ‘Tak Bat’ or giving alms to the monks. Stop by the local morning market before going to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall arriving before anyone else arrives. Enjoy a simple breakfast overlooking the falls then stop by the excellent Bear Rescue Centre next door. Return to Luang Prabang and enjoy the afternoon at leisure.
After breakfast, board a private boat and cruise up the Mekong for a short trek to reach the mysterious caves of Pak Ou, two caves set in a limestone cliff crammed with thousands of Buddha statues. Continue by car to Nong Kiau, stopping at some minority villages en route. Consider taking an easy trek or short bike ride in this glorious hamlet after checking into your peaceful boutique hotel.
This morning, board a local private boat for an unforgettable cruise up the Nam Ou River – you will have the chance to jump off the boat a couple of times and see local river life. This particular stretch offers stunning scenery and remote villages that can only be accessed by boat. Afterwards, return to Nong Khiaw where you can relax at your lovely hotel.
You have a choice today to enjoy a leisurely morning in Nong Khiaw to relax, climb the local peak for sunrise or take a riverside bike ride and return to Luang Prabang in the afternoon. Or you can set out in the morning and reach Luang Prabang by mid-day, where you’ll check into Le Sen and have the rest of the day to relax or explore this delightful town on your own. We suggest the first option although it’s your holiday!
Today is yours to explore and enjoy this heritage city on your own. Hire bicycles and ride through town, catch a shuttle to Ock Pop Tok to visit the Living Crafts Centre or enjoy lunch overlooking the Mekong, book a visit to the Living Land Rice Experience or a pottery class in the village of Ban Chan or simply take it easy poolside or in any of the city’s charming cafés, restaurants, and bars. There’s never enough time for Luang Prabang!
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Pakse, the gateway of southern Laos. From here your private driver and guide will take you to the hilltop Buddha at Phou Salao, which offers great views over the surrounding area. Then it’s about 45 minutes to Champasak, where you check into the beautiful River Resort with splendid river views and two inviting swimming pools!
After an early breakfast, transfer south to the largest of the 4,000 islands, Don Khong. Pick up mountain bikes and cycle past temples, take ferries between islands, pass through a quintessentially Lao fishing village, stop to meet the villagers who specialize in weaving bamboo baskets and fishing nets, enjoy a home-cooked lunch of local specialties, and carry on until boarding a boat back to the mainland. It’s a full day of boats and bicycles.
Watch the sunrise this morning at Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer religious complex that predates Angkor Wat – you are likely to have the whole temple to yourself! Return to your hotel for breakfast, where the rest of the day is at leisure until a sunset cruise along the Mekong River this evening. Beautiful views, tasty drinks and canapés, it’s a gorgeous way to end the day and one of the highlights of the region.
Check-out today and transfer to the airport in Pakse where you can board your flight toward home or elsewhere in Asia. There are regular flights from Pakse to Bangkok, Siem Reap, and Saigon on varying days of the week, making it easy to add another country to your South East Asia holiday. Safe travels!
This itinerary costs from £1,900 per person B&B based on 2 sharing and including all private transfers but not international flights.
You can get flights from as little as £600 per person return and do ask us for advice. Alternatively we can book the flights for you but a booking fee may apply.