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Laos Revealed

Being one of the most laid-back country, Laos still can keep most of its nature untouched, which is the ideal for the adventure into the nature. Within this 9-day Laos Revealed, we have chance to explore the laidback capital of Vientiane, the exciting Vang Vieng, and the amazing Luang Prabang.

HIGHLIGHTS

Various activities on sites

  • Gentle city visits of Vientiane and Luang Prabang
  • The scenic drive through the mountainous area of Northern Laos
  • The leisure cruise along the mighty Mekong River
  • Soft trek to explore Kuang Si waterfalls, the caves in Vang Vieng
  • Experience trekking, kayaking & cycling at Ban Tha Heua

Unforgettable moments

  • Watching the daily morning alms giving in Luang Prabang
  • The cruise along the Mekong River in Luang Prabang
  • The panoramic view from the top of Phousi Hill over the town of Luang Prabang
  • The evergreen nature of Kuang Si waterfalls
  • Sense the skins, the smell, and the breath of the elephants as close as you wish

Nature exploration

  • The scenic mountainous area of northern Laos
  • The amazing nature of Vang Vieng, and the caves system
  • The untouched nature along Mekong River
  • The magical beauty of Kuang Si waterfalls

Culture experience

  • Attending the daily morning alms giving in Luang Prabang
  • Visit various temple and museum in Vientiane, and Luang Prabang to learn about the culture of Laos
  • The visit to the local villages during the tour to see the local life

Map

Detailed schedule

Day 1 - Welcome to Vientiane

Upon arrival at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane, transfer to your hotel in town (early check-in upon availability).
From its sleepy tuk-tuk drivers to its location on the right bank of the lumbering, lazy Mekong, this former French trading post is languid to say the least. 
Indeed, despite being the capital and largest city of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, there's not a whole lot to do in Vientiane. But that is also, quite honestly, its selling point.
After a soft rest, our guide will walk you through the small streets of Vientiane to admire the local life. We will make a stop at one of the petanque course, where we will join a game with a local team.
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.  
Overnight in Vientiane

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Day 2 - Vientiane - Buddha Park

In the morning, we will first visit Wat Si Muang, which is very famous for its supernatural power. 
After that drive to Buddha Park which takes around 45 minutes away. Also known as Xieng Khuan, this unusual park is filled with over 200 Buddhist and Hindu statues.
We then visit Lao Disable Women Development Center, which assist disable women to cope with their disability and advocate for their rights. Spend time watching the video and learn about the effort to earn their daily living. You can support them by buying some small handicrafts at the shop.
Start the afternoon with a visit to That Luang, the holiest site in Laos. Constructed by King Setthathirat in the 16th century, the temple is resplendent as the sun is shines upon its towering golden spire. 
Then, enjoy a panoramic view over the city as you climb the stairs to the top of Patuxai, Vientiane’s own “Arc de Triomphe”. 
Continue down Lane Xang Avenue the serene Wat Sisaket, the only temple left intact after the Siamese (Thai) invasion in 1828. 
Continue on to the nearby Wat Phra Keo.  Used as a religious museum, Wat Phra Keo displays a collection of both Lao and Khmer works of art. 
Transfer back to your hotel.
Overnight in Vientiane.

Notes

You can also visit Sinouk Coffee Pavilion to discover the Lao coffee, stroll around the mini coffee gallery, view the in-house coffee roaster and try a cup of delicious and unique coffee or tea. Discuss with our guide about this if you are interested. Entrance fee and extra coffee/drinks are payable on spot.
 

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Day 3 - Vientiane - Ban Tha Heua

We leave the capital early for our journey northbound to Ban Thaheua.
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, we will transfer to the nearby resort in Ban Thaheua locating at the north side of Nam Ngum lake, the “sea of Laos”.
In the afternoon, our guide will escort you to the nearby village, passing through the local primary school, which is livelier during the school time. We will also visit the local market with plenty of fish stall displays.
Back to the resort, relax by the pool and admire the sun setting behind the mountains.
Overnight at Sanctuary Nam Ngum Beach Resort

Notes

Distance: 160KM | 4-hour transfer

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Day 4 - Ban Tha Heua - Exploration

Optional: 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 start the cycling tour exploring the nearby villages & the famous Nam Ngum dam.
We we will first pass through the local primary school, which is livelier during the school time. 
We then set-off toward Nam Ngum dam through the small village roads whilst admiring the life of local villagers.
Stop at one of the villages to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. Relax and talk with the villagers about their daily life.
We will also make another stop at the viewpoint to enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding area.
We have ample time to relax at the dam before cycling back to the resort.
If time permits, we will stop at another village to watch the rooster fighting in around 30 minutes.
Arrive at the resort around noon time.
In the afternoon, we will have a 2-hour kayaking around the Nam Ngum lake to explore some islets, and local fishing villages. The kayaking is easy and fun, requiring no special skills. We will stop at Huay Samom village, chatting with the host family, and learning about the weaving techniques. 
Return to the resort.
Relax by the pool and admire the sun setting behind the mountains.
Overnight at Sanctuary Nam Ngum Beach Resort

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Day 5 - Ban Tha Heua - Elephant Conservation Center

After breakfast, we will transfer to Xayabouly (about 205KM), which will take roughly 4 hours.
When you have arrived at the pier of Nam Tien Lake, we will transfer you to the center by boat. You might be able to catch a quick glimpse of one of our elephants while our boat docks. 
You will have some time to install yourself in your private bungalow before lunch is served. After enjoying a Laotian style meal, your guide will take you for a visit of the Center’s facilities and present our ongoing projects.
During the hospital visit our veterinarian and biologist will take you into their world and explain about the projects they are undertaking. 
Through the visit of the only Elephant Hospital in Laos, you will discover the conservation actions implemented by The Elephant Conservation Center.
You will then observe the elephants’ daily bath and learn more about our giant guests’ playful characters. Elephants are surprisingly good swimmers and love water. They also use this time to socialize.
After the elephants have washed themselves, you will meet our mahouts, who will show you how they get on and off the elephant and the commands they use. 
You will then have the opportunity to interact with the elephants with the mahouts at your side. 
Get a feel for the elephant’s amazing skin and prickly hair, and experience up close the dexterity of their trunk as you offer them some food. 
Feel free to take photos standing next to our giants!  For those who really want to get a feel of being on top of the elephant, mahout style, you can request to do so later on when bringing the elephants to the forest or socialization area.  
But this is absolutely not central to the experience we propose and is strictly on the neck, not in a chair on the elephant’s back!
While walking the elephants to their nightly resting ground you will witness the unique bond between the mahout and his elephant. 
Our experienced mahouts use vocal commands to steer the animals through the thick foliage.  As you stroll together with these magnificent creatures into the dense forest of Nam Tien, take a moment! 
This is the REAL land of elephants!  Your guide will give you some interesting information about the biodiversity of our protected forest.
Before dinner, take some time to take in the surroundings from our viewpoint. You can also go for a swim in the lake or visit the museum. 
During meal time, feel free to ask your unresolved questions to the staff or share one of the Lao style cocktails!

Notes

Distance: 205KM | 4-hour transfer

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Day 6 - Elephant Conservation Center - Luang Prabang

On the second day you will meet up with the elephants in the forest. After spending the night grazing in the jungle, it is time for another bath. 
Enjoy strolling together with these magnificent creatures in their natural environment. If you wish, you can ask to ride the elephant, bareback on the neck, for a short time on their way through the forest, to get a physical feel for the animal.
When they have had their fill of water they are brought to the Socialization Area. This is an area where the elephants can freely interact during a big part of the day, recreating a semi-natural living environment. 
Here the elephants can enjoy being…elephants. Follow the guide around the perimeter to learn more about the elephants. Take your time on the different platforms to see how a new herd is being formed. 
This rare opportunity will bring you closer to their natural life, something which is very special about our program and difficult to find anywhere else in Laos.
Lunch is served at one of the viewing platforms. You have some time to let everything sink in. 
Following the forest picnic, you can see the resident mother and baby at the nursery. The mahout of the mother stays close by while she and her baby have a bath and play. The mother trusts him around her offspring and even lets him play with her a little bit.
After visiting the nursery you can take your time to pack your bags and say goodbye to the staff. Perhaps you would like to take in the scenery for one last time before we bring you back to Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang

Notes

Tips: 
+ In the evening, we recommend joining the Royal Ballet Theatre at the National Museum to watch the traditional show of Phralak Phralam and learn about the history and culture of Laos (not included – payable on spot)
+ There is also the chance to join the Garavek Traditional Storytelling, which also focuses on showing the history & culture of Laos. (not included – payable on spot)

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Day 7 - Kuang Si Waterfalls - Buffalo Farm

After breakfast at the hotel, we ascend the 329 steps to the top of Phousi Hill for a panoramic view of the city and the Mekong River. 
On the way to Kuang Si waterfall, we will make a stop at Buffalo Dairy Farm to join a scheduled tour of the farm every 20 minutes starting on the hour from 10am until 5pm
Cuddle up to our beautiful buffalos at 450 kilos or feed Ferdinand, the friendly buffalo at just 750 Kilos!  They love to eat, not only grass but bananas as well!
After eating, our buffalo’s next favourite activity is having a bath.  You’ll get to wash them and give them a scrub.  It’s like a “day spa” for buffalo!
Hands on milking demonstration! Learn how to milk a buffalo and why buffalo milk is so good for you. 
The Buffalo may be the stars of the show but our playful pigs, cheeky chickens and rollicking rabbits are also plenty of fun for the young and young at heart!
Then transfer directly to the beautiful Kuang Si, which is the biggest waterfall in the Luang Prabang area with three tiers leading to a 50-metre drop into spectacular azure pools before flowing downstream. The pools also make great swimming holes and are very popular with both tourists and locals
There is also the chance to walk to the nearby village of Ban Thapene, and explore the hidden waterfalls, which is rarely visited by other tourists
If you wish, take a short visit to the Bear Rescue Center, which houses a couple of dozen animals rescued from the hands of poachers and traffickers.
On the way back to Luang Prabang, we will take a short visit to the Ock Pop Tock Living Craft Center, set serenely close to the Mekong, this beautiful, traditionally styled workshop, where weavers, spinners and batik makers produce top-quality fabrics, offers free tours every half-hour. This is also one of the best spots to admire the sunset in Luang Prabang
Transfer back to your hotel late afternoon. Overnight in Luang Prabang
 

Notes

After visiting Kuang Si waterfalls, you can visit the nearby Butterflies Park, where you can enjoy the afternoon tea with the homemade cookies whilst relaxing inside the green peaceful garden full of colorful butterflies.

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Day 8 - Pak Ou Caves - Nam Ou Riverside Resort

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.
We then 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. 
After breakfast, you will visit Royal Palace Museum, which was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family. 
Your city tour continues 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, we embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside, before reaching the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, a 16th century cave monastery filled with thousands of Buddha images, which locates 25 Kilometers North of Luang Prabang in the limestone cliffs overlooking the Mekong river.  En route, you will stop at Ban Xanghai, a well-known village for its traditional Lao rice whisky distilling. 
After visiting the cave, we continue to take the cruise further onto Nam Ou river to the nearby Nam Ou Riverside Resort.
Set serenely along the Nam Ou river, Nam Ou Riverside Resort is the perfect place for us to relax and unwind before finishing our Laos exploration.
Overnight at Nam Ou Riverside Resort

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Day 9 - Luang Prabang - Departure

You have ample time to stroll around the resort or the nearby village, or just relax by the pool of the resort admiring the lazy Nam Ou river before transferring back to Luang Prabang to take the departure flight

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We believe you have the right to arm yourselves with as much information as possible before making any decision.

Check below our detailed tips & guide for every places to visit in Laos, recommendation regarding the inclusion in each theme you prefer, and what you can do based on the time frame you have.

PLACES TO VISIT IN Laos
Luang Prabang
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The ancient capital of Lane Xang Kingdom

Vang Vieng
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Vientiane
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The ancient capital of Lane Xang Kingdom

4000 Islands
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Phonsavan
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Nong Khiaw
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Laos PLANS BY TRAVEL THEME
Family Vacation
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The combination of fun and educational activities

Cycling & Biking
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Explore every corners of the destination on two wheels

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Check out all the must-see places and things to do & see

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Unique experience combined with top-notch services

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Easy excursions combined with unique experience making the long-lasting romantic memories

Trek & Hike
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Explore the least visited destinations and unknown experience on foot

Cruise
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The combination of some must-see experience and the cruise tour along the mighty rivers

Unseen
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Reveal off-the-beatentrack routes, least explored destinations, and unknown tribe groups

Wellness & Leisure
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Easy excursion combined with week-long beach break

Laos PLANS BY TIME FRAME
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Laos BLOG ARTICLES

Though opened to tourism since the last 20 years, Laos still has many hidden places or gems that are waiting for the curious explorers. 

Xe Champhone Loop is one of the places.

Early September 2022, we made an Educ tour here, under the operation of Tetraktys Organization to explore the loop, which was an effort to promote the area to the international tourists.

We were impressed with what we saw and learnt here. The area is full of interesting nature spots, traditional culture, and hospitable hosts.

Below is everything you need to know about the area.

Stay tuned!

...more

The romance of train travel is alive and well in Laos. The recently-completed high-speed railway that stretches from Vientiane, through Laos, and into southern China is operating ‘full steam’ ahead. 

...more

Luang Prabang will celebrate the boat racing festival (Boun Souang Heua) in Namkhan River during Buddhist Lent Period, on August 26th, 2022.

A notice issued by Luang Prabang provincial office says that Luang Prabang will arrange Boun Hor Khaopadapdin, an annual festival held to feed spirits with home-made parcels of food, and the boat racing activities along Namkhan River. 

The province intends to promote the traditional festival and practices in hopes of attracting more domestic and foreign tourists, generating revenue for locals.

Traditional racing boats are made of a single tree and can accommodate up to fifty rowers.

The boats are considered sacred, are cleaned, and are given offerings which are believed to bring victory to the team.

In the downtown heart of Luang Prabang, there will also be gatherings and markets.

The festival will be held on August 26th, 2022, the same day with Boun Khao Padapdine.

Covid-19 put a stop to traditional customs and festivals for almost three years, but now that the measurements have been relaxed, tourist destinations in Laos expect to recommence festivities and offer hope for travelers.

...more

How long to spend in Laos may seem like a ridiculous question to address, but if you have plenty of time and aren’t sure how much to dedicate, this blog will definitely help you out. 

How long can you stay in Laos? 

Well, as long as you like! From 7 days to a month, there are various ways you can travel across Laos and uncover its secrets. Advising an ideal trip length for Laos is a bit of a complex challenge, as it depends on several factors such as the places you wish to visit, the activities you plan to join, or if you want to combine Laos with its neighbor countries. 

Stay tuned! We are going to sort all these things out including the step-by-step guide to create the best itinerary in Laos.

...more

The Rocket Festival (Boun Bang Fai) is a merit-making ceremony traditionally practiced by ethnic Lao people near the beginning of the wet season in numerous villages and municipalities, in the regions of Northeastern Thailand and Laos. Celebrations typically include preliminary music and dance performances, competitive processions of floats, dancers and musicians on the second day, and culminating on the third day in competitive firings of home-made rockets. Local participants and sponsors use the occasion to enhance their social prestige, as is customary in traditional Buddhist folk festivals throughout Southeast Asia.

The festival in Thailand also includes special programs and specific local patterns like Bung Fai (Parade dance) and a Beautiful Bung Fai float such as Yasothon the third weekend of May, and continues Suwannaphum District, Roi Et on the first weekend of June, Phanom Phrai District Roi Et during the full moon of the seventh month in Lunar year's calendar each year. The Bung Fai festival is not only found in Isan or Northeasthern Thailand and North Thailand and Laos, but also in Amphoe Sukhirin, Narathiwat.

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A report from Andy Jarosz from BBC Travel about his day trekking to the remote 100 waterfalls in Nong Khiaw 10 years ago (in 2012). The experience that you cannot miss when visiting the area. Check out the details as below so that you have some ideas of what to expect.

In the last four years, the rural village of Nong Khiaw has seen a steady stream of adventure travellers who want to experience the 10km trek before it disappears.

Strictly speaking, the name of the 100 Waterfalls Trek in northern Laos is misleading, since it is impossible to say how many waterfalls tumble through the thick jungle along the steady 10km ascent, with each one tumbling immediately into the next.

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