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adventure travel trip to Laos
Explore ancient temples and more
  • Nov 3-11, 2014
  • Dec 8-16, 2014
  • Privately on Request
  • View all trip dates
  • Duration 9 days
    Group Size 4-12
    Land Cost $2,595 Details
    Single Supplement $550
    Lodging 2 stars-3 stars
    Grade I
    Best Time

    Meandering the Mekong

    Float the Mekong to Luang Prabang and fly to Vientiane

    Day 1      Arrive Chiang Rai, Thailand

    You will be met at the airport in Chiang Rai and transferred to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you may choose to experience an afternoon cyclo ride through town.

    This evening, we recommend a Kantok dinner and cultural show. You'll be treated to an authentic northern Thai dinner while being entertained by traditional dancers dressed in decorated costumes. This is the best way to get some insight into a local dining experience. The dinner and show are not included in the land cost and are an additional $25 per person.

    Meals: None
    Lodging: Nam Khong Riverside Hotel or similar

    Take in a costumed dance performance
    Day 2      Huay Xai / Pakbeng

    You arrive at the Thailand/Laos border by road in mid-morning, cross the Mekong River, and meet your guide at Huay Xai, the immigration checkpoint for Laos. Travel with your guide down the Mekong for about four hours by local boat to your overnight guesthouse in Pakbeng. Pakbeng is an active, rough-around-the-edges river village with many shops, restaurants, boats, and trucks. The guesthouse is quite basic, with a great view of the Mekong, outside facilities, and part-time electricity.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging: Phetsokxai Lodge or similar

    Explore Pakbeng's primitive streets
    Day 3      Tribal Villages

    After breakfast, you will be picked up and driven to the villages of Ban Lao Sung and Ban Done Keo. Your trip takes you through a scenic gorge and sparsely-populated mountain country. The villages are very friendly in this area, and we will introduce you to local people who are happy to show you how communities are organized, invite you to visit their homes, and discuss and show you some of their traditions. You will sample some local foods and gain a good feeling for the simple life of rural Laos. Return to your guesthouse in Pakbeng for your overnight.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging: Phetsokxai Lodge or similar

    Meet villagers and learn about their lives
    Day 4      Boat to Luang Prabang

    After breakfast, continue by chartered, powered riverboat to Luang Prabang with a picnic lunch along the way. The boat offers a broad deck for panoramic viewing and a sheltered area in case of sun or rain. The day will be busy with visits to the villages of Ban Hat Kham, Ban Hat Mad, and Ban Sang Hay, known for jars and a special locally-fermented and distilled beverage. You will also visit Tham Ting Cave and Pak Ou Cave. You may decide to stop to observe and photograph fishermen, elephants hauling logs from the forest, gold panning, riverbank agriculture, and rich natural forests. Dock at a temple in Luang Prabang and walk to your hotel.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging: Ancient Luang Prabang or similar

    Visit Pak Ou Cave and its many statues
    Day 5      Luang Prabang

    After breakfast, take a city tour where you will be able to visit the temples, then head onward to the weaving village of Ban Phanom. You will enjoy the pace and uncrowded space of Luang Prabang, which is a favorite Asian city of many people. Most sites are within walking distance and the climate is moderate.

    Today, we have included the opportunity to witness a local Baci ceremony, which celebrates a special time in a Loatian's life such as a marriage, homecoming, a birth, etc. 

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Centrally located 3 star hotel

    Visit some of the city's many Buddhist temples
    Day 6      Luang Prabang

    Today is yours for exploring in Luang Prabang. Consider wandering among vendors' stalls in the daily market, do a bit of shopping, and take in the colorful scenes of city life.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Ancient Luang Prabang or similar

    Explore Luang Prabang, including the daily market
    Day 7      Luang Prabang / Vientiane

    Early this morning, witness the alms offering to the monks. This ritual is a way for Buddhists to "make merit" and how they obtain their meals for the day. Your hotel will provide you with sticky rice to offer the monks. We suggest avoiding purchasing food from the local "alms vendors". As a group of around 200 monks walks by, you and villagers will give them your offerings. Women should cover their arms and legs if giving alms.

    Later, transfer to the airport for your flight to Vientiane, where you spend the rest of the day visiting some of its many wonderful local sights, including amazing temples, an interesting museum, and a colorful and active riverfront.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Chanthapanya Hotel or similar

    Monks collecting alms in Luang Prabang
    Day 8      Vientiane

    You'll have the day free to explore on your own. Even though it is still a small city, Vientiane has much to offer, including many temples, Buddhist stupa, monuments, parks, and more. Simply taking in daily life on the city's streets can also be a treat if you allow yourself to wander, perhaps getting a bit lost while you're there.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Chanthapanya Hotel or similar

    Explore Vientiane's many sights
    Day 9      Vientiane / Onward

    You may have time for a visit to the temples and souvenir shops after breakfast before you transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: None

    Bid farewell to Laos

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