Culture, wildlife & bird-watching in Laos - 20 days / 19 nights

Route to include the following:- Luang Prabang – Xieng Khuang – Vang Vieng – Vientiane – Ban Na Hin – Pakse – Khong Islands – Ban Kiet Ngong – Pakse – Vientiane (departure)

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DAY 1: LUANG PRABANG – ARRIVAL    (-/-/-)

DAY 2: LUANG PRABANG – FULL DAY CITY TOUR     (B/-/-)

DAY 3: LUANG PRABANG – ELEPHANT VILLAGE (HDE) – PAK OU CAVE     (B/L/-)

AY 4: LUANG PRABANG – KHOUANGSI WATERFALL – HILL TRIBE VILLAGES VISIT     (B/-/-)

DAY 5: LUANG PRABANG – XIENGKHUANG (Plain of jars)    (B/-/-)

DAY 6: XIENGKHUANG – VANG VIENG    (B/-/-)

DAY 7: VANG VIENG – EXPLORE    (B/-/-)

DAY 8: VANG VIENG – VIENTIANE VIA NAM NGUM LAKE    (B/-/-)

DAY 9: VIENTIANE CITY TOUR – BUDDHA PARK    (B/-/-) 

DAY 10: VIENTIANE – THA KHEK – BAN NA HIN    (B/-/-) 

DAY 11: BAN NA HIN – BIRD WATCHING TOUR    (B/L/-) 

DAY 12: BAN NA HIN – KONG LOR CAVE – BAN NA HIN    (B/L/-) 

DAY 13: BAN NA HIN – PAKSE    (B/-/-) 

DAY 14: PAKSE – WATPHOU – KHONG ISLANDS    (B/-/-) 

DAY 15: KHONG ISLANDS – FULL DAY SURROUDINGS    (B/-/-) 

DAY 16: KHONG ISLANDS – BAN KIET NGONG & Bird Watching    (B/-/-) 

DAY 17: BAN KIET NGONG – HIKE in THE JUNGLE & PHUASA MOUNTAIN    (B/L/-) 

DAY 18: BAN KIET NGONG – TADLO – BOLAVEN PLATEAU – PAKSE    (B/-/-)

DAY 19: PAKSE – FLY TO VIENTIANE    (B/-/-) 

DAY 20: VIENTIANE – DEPARTURE    (B/-/-) 


DAY 1: LUANG PRABANG – ARRIVAL (-/-/-)

Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Luang Prabang is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. The tranquility and charm of this town with its splendid natural scenery and cultural sights make it one of the most delightful places to visit in Laos. Today is free at your leisure to explore the city. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Please note: Hotel check-in time is 14:00


DAY 2: LUANG PRABANG – FULL DAY CITY TOUR (B/-/-)

After breakfast, you visit The National Museum at the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of the artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through to the last sovereign. The Central Market is not to be missed. After that, enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple of Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. During your time here, visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham, Wat Mai.  Then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic view of the city at sunset and the Mekong River. From there, explore the Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textile made by local and hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang.


DAY 3: LUANG PRABANG – ELEPHANT VILLAGE (HDE) – PAK OU CAVE (B/L/-) 

After breakfast at your hotel, at approx. 8:00 am you will be picked up by your English speaking guide from your hotel lobby and drive to the Elephant Village Camp where you are warmly greeted by your guide and participate in a short briefing about elephants.

Afterward enjoy the impressive experience of feeding, bathing elephants, and learning their communicative language!  Then we take boat trip to the Tad Sae Waterfall: Ride in a traditional Lao long boat to the Tad Sae Waterfall and relax or swim in the clear water (don’t forget to pack your swimming kit for today!)  Have Buffet lunch at the Elephant Camp restaurant.  Transfer back to your Hotel in Luang Prabang around 1:00pm

In the afternoon, board a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives you a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. Along the way, stop at the small village of Ban Xanghai, where the local rice wine is distilled. On your way back, pass the local villages at Ban Xiengmene and Ban Chan before continuing to see the royal temple at Wat Longkhoun, which once belonged to the royal family patronage and nearby Sackarine Caves.  Cross the city and take a short drive to Ban Phanom, well known for its hand weaving. Overnight in Luang Prabang


DAY 4: LUANG PRABANG – KHOUANGSI WATERFALL – HILL TRIBE VILLAGES VISIT (B/-/-) 

An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. From there you will visit the morning Phosi Market, where you will see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings. Laos is also known for its traditional crafts, and today you will visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, Hmong Village and Ban Thapene, Khmu Village, then drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the turquoise pools or walk along the forest trails. We return to the city by late evening to observe the sunset at Wat Phabath. Overnight in Luang Prabang 



DAY 5: LUANG PRABANG – XIENGKHUANG (Plain of jars)  (B/-/-)

Today, we drive 306km uphill to a mountain surrounded by wonderful natural scenery to Xieng Khouang, which was devastated by American bombing between 1964 and 1973. Upon arrival, transfer out to visit the Plain of Jars, an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are scattered all over the plateau. If time permits, we see the old capital of Muang Khoun and the nearby villages, home to the Hmong hill tribe people. They have an interesting local culture and a colourful history. Overnight in Xieng Khouang.



DAY 6: XIENGKHUANG – VANG VIENG (B/-/-)

Today you will visit the Central Market of Phonsavanh and then head out towards Vang Vieng.  Enroute we stop off to see the Buddha images at Thampra, a site more than 200 years old, and various Hmong and hilltribe minority villages along the way. After numerous photo stops, continue driving, enjoying the splendid natural scenery of the mountains, the forest and landscape. The journey will take you over mountainous regions until we approach Vang Vieng. Overnight in Vang Vieng.


DAY 7: VANG VIENG – EXPLORE (B/-/-)

Today you will be driven to visit Tham Jang Cave and then drive to visit Blue lagoon at Tham Phoukham

Afternoon you will do a boat trip on the Nam Song River for sightseeing and stop at Organic farm for tasting mulberry tea before you head back to hotel. Overnight in Vang Vieng.


DAY 8: VANG VIENG – VIENTIANE VIA NAM NGUM LAKE (B/-/-)

Drive to Vientiane, stopping at the fishing villages of Ban Thahuea and also Nam Ngum Lake, a huge reservoir created by damming the Nam Ngum River.  Upon arrival at the lake, you embark on a long tail boat visiting fisherman villages in varied islets.  Visit some beautiful islets and take a short walk to explore the lifestyle of the local fishermen.  You return to Vientiane and stop at Ban Keun, which is famous for its salt extraction plant – arrive back in Vientiane by late evening. Overnight in Vientiane.


DAY 9: VIENTIANE CITY TOUR – BUDDHA PARK (B/-/-) 

After breakfast, see the major sights of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket, the temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. On the way to Lao’s national precious heritage, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, stop en route to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph.  In the afternoon transfer out to see the Buddha Park, a scattered enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures on the Mekong Riverside meadow, close to the Friendship Bridge. There are approximately 200 religious images dating back over 500 years, which were created by a mysterious monk spreading his philosophy on life and revealing his ideas about the universe. A spectacular view of over the Mekong River at sunset is a perfect way to finish the day. Overnight in Vientiane.


DAY 10: VIENTIANE – THA KHEK – BAN NA HIN (B/-/-) 

Depart early for your drive towards Khammouane province. Along the way, make several stops to stretch your legs and take some wonderful pictures of the breath-taking scenery of Laos Countryside. Depending on road and traffic conditions, you will arrive at Ban Na Hin, the gateway to Khong Lor Cave, by mid or late afternoon. On arrival, enjoy a short walk around this charming village, enabling you to understand a little more about their culture and lifestyle. Overnight in Ban Na Hin.


DAY 11: BAN NA HIN – BIRD WATCHING TOUR (B/L/-) 

After familiarizing with the habitats and some general birding of a species list you will start to target the goodies, not at least the newly discovered 'bald' Bulbul, Limestone Leaf Warbler, Sooty Babbler and Lao Langur in the limestone forest while the evergreen forest should reveal a host of other specialties; Red-collared and Pale-headed Woodpecker, Red-vented Barbet, Spot-necked Babbler, Long-tailed Broadbill, Spot-bellied Eagle Owl.  Overnight in Ban Na Hin.


DAY 12: BAN NA HIN – KONG LOR CAVE – BAN NA HIN (B/L/-) 

The amazing cave of Khong Lor is 7.5km long and was formed by the Hinboun River, which flows though the cave all year round. Today you take a short drive to Khong Lor Cave, stopping en route at Ban Na Hin for a walk to That Mouang and That Namsanam Waterfalls. Here you embark on a small boat for an impressive excursion through the main cave to the valley beyond, stopping to observe the stalactite formations. The cave is still used by local villages as an access route. Overnight in Ban Na Hin. 


DAY 13: BAN NA HIN – PAKSE (B/-/-) 

Today you drive to Pakse and stop on the way at Thakhaek and Savannaket before reaching Pakse.  Check in to your hotel and the rest of the day is free for you to relax. Overnight in Pakse.


DAY 14: PAKSE – WATPHOU – KHONG ISLANDS (B/-/-) 

Drive to Champassak to visit the fascinating pre-Angkorian ruins of Wat Phu, one of Southeast Asia's most dramatically situated temples. Have time to explore these intriguing Khmer ruins, which are perched at the base of Mount Phu Kao. Wat Phu is one of the Lao World Heritage sites recognized by UNESCO in 2001, this wonderful archeological site of Khmer civilization dates back to the 10th century, predating the famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Continue your journey by land to Ban Hatxaikhoun and then take ferry crossing from Mekong to Don Khong, the largest island in the South Mekong river region known as the 4000 islands, one of the most scenic areas in Laos. Overnight in Don Khong Island.


DAY 15: KHONG ISLANDS – FULL DAY SURROUDINGS (B/-/-) 

After an early breakfast, explore the local villages of Ban Khone, where you will see an array of relics from the French colonial era and retrace the old colonial past, including old French colonial buildings and the remnants of the first Lao railway with its locomotive. You continue to discover the 4000 islands area by Tuk Tuk at your leisure and visit the Liphi waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfalls marking the end of Lao border to Cambodia, also known as the Samphamith.  If you are lucky we may even see the rare freshwater Irrawaddy Mekong dolphin at Ban Hang Khone. Return to Ban Nakasang and drive to the famous waterfalls of Khone Phapeng, the largest waterfall in South East Asia, known as Niagara of the east. Overnight in Don Khong Island. 


DAY 16: KHONG ISLANDS – BAN KIET NGONG & Bird Watching (B/-/-) 

Today you leave Khong Island and head to Ban Kiet Ngong. Upon arrival check in to the King Fisher E-co lodge and relax. In the evening, you can bird watch close to your lodge. Overnight at King Fisher. 


DAY 17: BAN KIET NGONG – HIKE in THE JUNGLE & PHUASA MOUNTAIN (B/L/-) 

The hike will start from Kingfisher Ecolodge at around 08:30 and will end at the same place at around 15:30.

The trail will bring you inside the tropical forest that covers the surrounding area of this famous archeological site, on the way back you will visit Phou Asa. Your guide will show you and interpret the flora and possibly the fauna met along the way. The hike will start from Kingfisher Ecolodge at around 08:30 and will end at the same place at around 15:30. Overnight at King Fisher Eco-Lodge. 


DAY 18: BAN KIET NGONG – TADLO – BOLAVEN PLATEAU – PAKSE (B/-/-)

After breakfast, continue your journey towards Tadlo, through Boloven plateau. The Boloven Plateau is known for its cooler temperature being located high above the Mekong Valley. Rivers run off this high plateau in all directions and then plunge out to lush forests along in a series of spectacular surging waterfalls. A trip to the plateau provides a refreshing break from the heat and allows you to observe the cultivation of rich coffee, tea, cardamom, bananas, and other crops that can be seen en route.  This trip gives you the chance to venture off the beaten track and to discover some of the lesser-known areas of Laos, exploring the wild beauty of this southern region. Upon arrival at Tad Lo waterfall, visit the villages of Alak, Nge, and Katu, populated by ethnic minority groups. You return to Pakse by late evening. Overnight in Pakse.


DAY 19: PAKSE – FLY TO VIENTIANE (B/-/-) 

Today is free until you take your flight to Vientiane. Upon arrival, check in and take a rest before a drive to visit the COPE center and also hand weaving village at Ban Nong Buathong Tai and relax. Overnight in Vientiane. 


DAY 20: VIENTIANE – DEPARTURE (B/-/-) 

Breakfast at hotel.  Transfer to airport for departure flight.

Please note! Hotel check-out time is 12:00

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