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adventure travel trip to Laos
You may see Lao women panning for gold in the Mekong River
  • Privately on Request
  • Duration 7 days
    Group Size 4-12
    Land Cost $1,995 Details
    Single Supplement $350
    Lodging 2 stars
    Grade I
    Best Time

    Palaces and Pagodas

    Explore friendly Laos from hotel bases in Vientiane and Luang Prabang

    Day 1      Arrive Vientiane

    Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met by your guide and given a brief tour of Vientiane, the largest city in Laos. You will visit sights such as Pha That Luang, Lao's most important and imposing monument. Legend has it that Ashokan missionaries from India erected a stupa here to enclose a breastbone of the Buddha as early as the 3rd century BC.

    Meals: None
    Lodging: Chanthapanya or similar

    Visit Pha That Luang and other Vientiane sights (photo by Aaron Smith)
    Day 2      Vientiane Temples and Market

    After breakfast, you’ll visit more of Vientiane's temples, including Wat Si Saket, with its thousands of Buddha images, and Wat Ong Teu Mahawihan (Temple of the Heavy Buddha), which is one of the most important in the country. It was built in the early 16th century by King Setthathirat and currently serves as a national center for Buddhist studies. At Wat Xieng Khuan (Buddha Park), you can see the collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures in a meadow by the side of the Mekong River. Finish the day with a visit to the central market.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Chanthapanya or similar

    Visit Vientiane's ancient temples and modern monuments
    Day 3      Luang Prabang

    This morning you’ll fly to Luang Prabang, a city known for its historic temples and lovely mountain-encircled setting. In the afternoon, you’ll go on a city tour, visiting sites such as Wat Wisunalat, one of the city's oldest temples, and Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang's most magnificent temple. The Royal Palace Museum, once a residence for King Sisavang Vong and his family, has beautiful silver and gold handicrafts. Your last stop is the Phousi Temples, where you’ll have gorgeous view of the sunset from Mount Phousi.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Ancient Luang Prabang or similar

    Visit temples such as Wat Sen in Luang Prabang (photo by B. Days)
    Day 4      Villages of the Mekong River

    Set out on a local boat trip along the Mekong River, the longest and most important water route in Laos. You will sail to Tam Tin Cave, a cavern in a limestone cliff filled with Buddha images, and Ban Sang Hai. The village’s name means "Jar-Maker Village" because at one time it was the center of the local cottage crafts industry. After a picnic lunch, visit the weaving village of Ban Phanom, a Thai Lu village well-known for its cotton and silk hand weaving. Afterwards, return to Luang Prabang for your overnight.

    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, Lunch
    Lodging: Ancient Luang Prabang or similar

    See village life on a boat trip along the Mekong River
    Day 5      Kuangsi Waterfall / Khmu Village

    Today you will be driven to Kuangsi Waterfall (about 18 miles from Luang Prabang), a beautiful multi-tiered waterfall tumbling over limestone formations into a series of cool, turquoise pools. You’ll also visit a Khmu village, where you’ll have a picnic lunch amidst the village’s cool stream, a rustic dam, and miniature waterfalls. Return to Luang Prabang for your overnight.

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

    Visit local villages
    Day 6      Luang Prabang / Phone Say Village

    After breakfast, you’ll set out for Phone Say village, a community hidden on the Mekong River where the women weave and the men fish to feed their families. This charming village cannot be reached by car, but it is only a 30-minute walk from the main road. This is a good chance to talk with the local people and get a feel for daily life in Luang Prabang. The afternoon is at your leisure. If you wish, you may visit the night market and experience the only form of nightlife in this laid-back town. The market is also an excellent place to look at traditional textiles and handicrafts made by the hill tribes.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Ancient Luang Prabang or similar

    Meet villagers and talk with them about their lifestyles
    Day 7      Luang Prabang / Onward

    Early this morning, witness the alms offering to the monks. This ritual is a way for Buddhists to "make merit" and also how the monks obtain their daily meals. Your hotel will provide you with sticky rice so you do not need to purchase food from the local "alms vendors". You'll join others as they offer food to a line of around 200 monks walking by. We recommend that women cover their arms and legs if giving alms.

    Later, transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: None

    Join in offering alms to Buddhist monks

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