On arrival at the Wattay International airport, you will be met and transferred to check in the hotel.
Vientiane is a charming and fascinating capital, with an interesting mix of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, and American influences.
In the afternoon, we start visiting the major sights of the capital; including Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statues, and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. Enroute to Lao’s national icon, the precious and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, you will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph.
End your tour of the capital along the banks of the Mekong River as the sun begins to set. Stroll along the river, stop to enjoy a cold drink, or sample a snack from one of the many local food stalls.
The welcome dinner will be served at the local restaurant with traditional dance & folk song, the best chance to experience Lao culture
Overnight in Vientiane.
DAY 2 VIENTIANE – RICE EXPERIENCE (Tuk Tuk Safari)
Our tuk tuk driver (also our guide) will pick you up at your hotel after breakfast, and take you to an organic rice, fish and vegetable farm on the outskirts of Vientiane. Run by a Lao non-government organisation using traditional Lao farming methods, this is the perfect place to try your hand at rice farming. The friendly farmers will show you how to get your feet wet planting rice seedlings (during rainy season), or if it’s harvest season then cut and thresh your own rice for lunch! Do a spot of fishing, collect fresh duck eggs, learn about organic fertiliser and how it is made, and harvest fresh seasonal organic vegetables and bamboo (if in season).
Once you’ve finished in the field, you’ll cook up a traditional Lao lunch with the days’ produce. Learn how to cook sticky rice and make papaya salad and sit down to enjoy a picnic-style lunch and a well-earned rest.
On the way back into town, we’ll take you to a local fresh food market to check out the amazing diversity of Lao food. Stop for a while in the market for a traditional Lao coffee or sample some delicious Lao sweets.
Transfer back to your hotel late afternoon. Overnight in Vientiane
DAY 3 VIENTIANE – BAN THA HEUA
We leave the capital early for our journey northbound; we will see some breathtaking scenery enroute as we pass through spectacular countryside towards the mountainous region. Along the way, we visit the busy and colorful market of KM52 where various hill tribes come to trade goods and buy provisions. We may also make a short photo stop at Hin Heup bridge, and the fish market in Ban Tha Heua.
From there, transfer to your hotel, which locate on the north side of Nam Ngum lake, offering the excellent escape from daily busy life.
The afternoon is dedicated to plenty of activities on sites such as kayaking, water-jet skiing, paddle boat, cycling, or trekking to visit the nearby villages. Discuss with our guide for the activities that you wish to enjoy. These are based on your own extra expense
You can either choose to relax by the floating swimming pool of the resort.
Overnight in Ban Tha Heua
DAY 4 BAN THA HEUA – VANG VIENG – LUANG PRABANG
Wake up early today, you never want to miss the serene sunrise over the peaceful lake. Our guide will escort you to the nearby area to watch the local villagers preparing for their busy day.
After breakfast, we transfer to Vang Vieng, and visit the cave of Tham Jang, which was used in the early 19th century in defense against the Chinese invaders.
We then start our expedition on the new road to Luang Prabang, that is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. The roads are well paved along the way for a smooth journey; we pass some stunning landscape scenery with a mixture of steep terraced fields and hill villages, we take a few photo stops at some small hill tribe village enroute. Each hill tribe village in Laos has a different feel, some are more prosperous than others but all have plenty of life. We also have chance to admire the panoramic view over the surrounding area at the peak of more than 2000m. Before reaching Luang Prabang, we will make a short stop to visit the local school at Ban Huay Sala. Overnight in Luang Prabang
DAY 5 LUANG PRABANG – PHA TAD KE EXPERIENCE
Wake up as the sun rises, we will prepare to join the most sacred tradition of Laos, the daily morning alms giving, which dates to the 14th century. More than 200 Buddhist monks depart from various temple to gather their daily meal from the faithful residents sitting quietly on the streets.
From there, we will visit the temporary morning market near the former Royal Palace. Just set on the ground, the local people come here to barter their day’s catch from rice, to vegetable, to fish, or chicken. This is the best chance to experience the flavor of local life
The Pha Tad Ke boat departs Ban Wat That at 9:00 (please be at the pier at 8:45). Enjoy a 15-minute leisurely boat trip down the Mekong River. Upon arrival at Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden reception you will be given a short presentation about the gardens. After that walk through the Ginger Garden and the Ethno-botanic Garden, which is the centrepiece of the garden. Follow the path through the Limestone Walk and take in the amazing mountainous Mekong landscape. Learn how to make a bamboo stick animal at the site of the hunting lodge of the former royal family. Then continue your tour of Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden walking through the Arboretum, Palm Garden and Bamboo
Garden to our viewpoint that overlooks the rice fields. Stop by the Mist House where you will learn more about the importance of biodiversity conservation. Finish your excursion with an optional orchid talk at Pha Tad Ke Nursery.
All of the gardens will have introductory panels and labels. You can always ask our expert staff should you have any questions or require more information.
Enjoy a delicious Lao set lunch at the Pha Tad Ke café. Then take the boat back to Luang Prabang center
In the afternoon, your city tour begins with a visit to the magnificent Wat Xiengthong, a superb piece of Lao temple architecture, which presents a sweeping two-tiered roof and ornate mosaics including a beautiful ‘tree of life ‘glass montage on the rear temple wall.
After that, you will visit Royal Palace Museum, which was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family.
Late afternoon, we climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic sunset view of the city and the Mekong River.
The tour ends after a visit to the famous Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by local and hilltribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang
DAY 6 LUANG PRABANG – BAN LONG LAO – KUANG SI WATERFALLS
We depart from your hotel and drive for around one hour west to Ban Xeng Mouk village where the trek starts.
We begin with a visit to the ethnic Khmu village of Ban Longlao Nung before heading to the nearby Hmong village of Ban Longlao Song. You will be able to observe the lifestyles of these two culturally very different minority groups and see how despite their differences they manage to work together on a day to day basis and even sharing the same school.
As we continue onwards the trail leads through rice paddys and vegetable fields before reaching the mountainous forest. Along the way we explore a cave which was used as a bomb shelter by the locals during the second indochina war.
After visiting the cave one more hour of trekking brings us to one of the many springs which feeds Kuang Xi waterfalls, here a beautiful pool full of sacred fish can be seen. After descending from the top of the waterfall we enjoy a Lao style lunch amongst some beautiful settings!
The afternoon is spent bathing and relaxing around the turquoise pools below the waterfall. You can also visit the bear conservation center which is located nearby and home to many bears which have been rescued from illegal farms.
Before returning to Luang Prabang we take a short walk to a nearby Khmu village of Ban Thapene which is home to some of the most beautiful pools of Kuang Xi Waterfalls.
Approximately: 2 hours driving, 4 hours trekking
DAY 7 LUANG PRABANG – PAK OU CAVES – PAKBENG (Shompoo Cruise)
Our driver will pick you up from your hotel at 6:30 AM, and transport you to the boat pier. The boat leaves at 7:00 AM for the upstream cruise to Pakbeng. French breakfast is served onboard after the introduction of the crew. Shortly thereafter, we will stop to visit the famous Pak Ou Caves (Tham Ting) and its thousands of Buddha images. For lunch, local food is served onboard. Then, you will have free time for relaxing in the afternoon, until the boat arrives in Pakbeng at dust. You will be served a typical snack and drink on board in the afternoon. Here, you will retreat to your accommodation for the night.
Cruise schedule: Departure every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday
The guide will meet you on the boat at 06:45 AM, which departs at 07:00 AM for continuing the trip up to Houay Xay. On the way, we visit a Hill Tribe village. Our guide will explain the way of living and the origins of these rural populations. After, lunch will be served on board. A final, brief stop has to be made in Pak Tha for having necessary boat documents signed. Then, before arrival in Houay Xay, we will initiate your palate to local flavors by offering a tasting of seasonal fruits, drinks, snacks. Arrival in Houay Xay will be around 5:00pm, continue to the border crossing to Chiang Khong (Thailand)
Once reaching the Huayxay, we will cross the border to Chiang Khong (Thailand), where our driver will pick you up with the sign the LANJIA LODGE.
Arriving at the lodge, and enjoying your welcome drink, there will be the short presentation of the lodge manager together with the video about the various tribal people residing in Thailand, with the main focus on the Hmong and Lahu tribes, for them being your hosts at Lanjia Lodge.
Another presentation will give you insights on the various activities affecting the lives of people living by and from the Mekong River over decades and on the famous Giant Catfish (locally known as Pla Buek), the world’s largest freshwater that can still be found in the Mekong.
In the evening, you enjoy a sumptuous dinner with local delicacies, followed by a performance of both, Hmong and Lahu music and dances.
Overnight at Lanjia Lodge
DAY 9 LANJIA LODGE EXPERIENCE
You prepare yourself for an adventurous day with a nearly-morning breakfast in the lodge. A local guide will then guide you through the Hmong and Lahu village adjacent to the lodge, called “Baan Kiew Karn”.
You will learn about the many traditions, beliefs and the daily way of life of these two tribes, and also enjoy a hands-on experience of the local Batik making, which you will be taught by an extremely skillful Hmong woman. Afterwards, the Shaman of the village will be pleased to answer all your questions regarding the local belief in Shamanism.
Later, we will transfer you in a local truck to the close-by village of Baan Muang Karn, from where you will board a local boat and cruise down the famed Mekong River to the city of Chiang Khong. You will enjoy your lunch today in a local restaurant right by the river.
After lunch, our guide will walk with you through parts of this charming border town, and you will visit two temples on the way, before heading to the village of Ban Had Krai, where you will meet with local fishermen who have seen and caught the famed Giant Catfish, and who will be pleased to share their unique stories with you.
As a last stop before arriving back to the lodge, you will visit the temple Wat Phra That Jom Meng on a mountain top with a most scenic view over the Mekong River basin and Laos.
Arrive back in the lodge in time to relax and prepare for another meal showcasing the unique flavors of the local cuisine.
Overnight at Lanjia Lodge
DAY 10 LANJIA LODGE – CHIANG RAI – DEPARTURE
After breakfast, we will take a local truck and visit a small waterfall, where you have the opportunity to swim in your own pool in the middle of a tropical forest. We will bring along a wonderful picnic lunch for you to enjoy, before returning to the lodge in the early afternoon, we will take a short visit to the Organic Tea Farm, producing the famous Oolong tea, said to heaven array of healing effects on your body.
We will serve you refreshment at Lanjia Lodge, before the transfer to the airport in Chiang Rai to take the departure flight
End of services______________
TOUR PRICE IN USD NET PER PERSON IN GROUP OF
[HIGH SEASON] 01 OCT 2019 – 30 APR 2020 (Excluding some peak period*)
[LOW SEASON] 01 MAY 2020 – 30 SEP 2020
Christmas & New Year Eve: 20 DEC 2019 – 10 JAN 2020