Focus Active Laos

Vientiane – Vang Vieng – Luang Prabang

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Name Focus Active Laos
Code Focus Active Laos STD Jan14 - Sep14
Focus Active Laos SUP Jan14 - Sep14
Focus Active Laos DLX Jan14 - Sep14
Validity
Duration 9 Days/8 Nights
Tour Type private Roundtrip
Tour Start daily
Destinations Vientiane – Vang Vieng – Luang Prabang

Description

This Active journey through Laos, offer a great opportunity to discover the UNESCO site of Luang Prabang, the cultural high tribe villages, the amazing flora of Laos with on other perspective.  Feel, touch and eat, open your senses and learn about the beauty of this country.

DAY 1: Vientiane Capital

Arrival in Vientiane, the capital and largest city of Laos, situated along the Mekong river.

A tour will take you to discover the charms of Vientiane, a quiet but endearing capital city. Our tour begins with Wat Sisaket, which was built in the Siamese style of Buddhist architecture, rather than the Lao style, and thus has a surrounding terrace and an ornate five-tiered roof. Wat Sisaket features a cloister wall with more than 2000 ceramic and silver Buddha images.

Next, we’ll visit Wat Phra Kaew, built between 1565 and 1556. Wat Phra Kaew was the former home of the Emerald Buddha, which now resides in Wat Phra Keaw in Bangkok. The temple has been destroyed several times. The current structure was rebuilt for the third time by the French in the 1920’s.

We will move on to the famous sacred That Luang Stupa, a gold-covered Buddhist stupa initially established in the 3rd century. The That Luang Stupa is the most important national monument in Lao PDR and a national symbol. Then it’s on to the imposing Phatuxay Monument, “Victory Gate” or “Gate of Triumph” which is dedicated to those who fought in the struggle for independence from France.

Our journey will end with a visit to the Talat Sao (Morning Market), where you can find an abundance of locally made handicrafts.

DAY 2: Vientiane – Orchid Trek  (B,L)

7:30 Departure from the hotel. We arrive at the village of Ban hatkhay to 9:30 or 2 local guides will wait after preparing the picnic. We will be traveling to vehicle to Say Pha through the path that leads to the rice fields before arriving in the park. The trek will start at orchid Pha Say with his views on an impressive throat than 40m high and thick jungle. We move on small trails and discover shade different forest types: semi-deciduous jungles, bamboo , accompanied by two guides and an expert on orchids.
Do not be surprised by abundance of orchids in some places, all the rocks are covered!
Some biotopes are extraordinary. We will also have the opportunity to learn many things on medicinal plants and other plant families such as: Cane, the Gingers, the Dypterocarpes …
The picnic will be in the bed of a dry river any part of the year. The afternoon will end with a swim at the waterfall of Tad Say before returning to the village. Back in Vientiane expected around 18h.

DAY 3: Vientiane – Nam Ngun Lake – Vang Vieng (B)

Today will drive north for a full day excursion to the Nam Ngum dam. On a boat trip around the lake we will discover tropical Islands. We’ll also visit Ban Keun village and a traditional salt factory. We will end up at the town of Vang Vieng, which is tucked in amongst giant limestone cliffs and sits along the Nan Song River.   This is an area of immense natural beauty, with the Nan Song River passing through the shadows of the dramatic mountains.

DAY 4: Vang Vieng – Kayaking and Caving (B,L)

We will be transferred from Vang Vieng to the Khmu village of Vieng Samay, about 10 km north of Vang Vieng. After an introduction to the basics of kayaking, the Nam Song offers various small but fun rapids on the way to the first stop at the cave of Tham Nam Thaem. This cave cuts straight through the mountain, so one emerges on the other side of the range for some panoramic views of the Nam Kouang valley.
A trek back over a small pass leads up to a Lao style picnic lunch on the riverside. The next paddle stop is at the Organic Farm, where mulberry tea and a variety of fruit wines are produced.
The Tham Non Cave lies further downstream. As one of the biggest caves in Vang Vieng, it served as a rescue shelter for the villagers during the Second Indochina War. Today it is home to a bat colony and ‘The Magic Stone of Vang Vieng’.
The final leg is a gentle paddle – before returning to Vang Vieng in time to catch the sunset from the terrace of the Ban Sabai Riverside Bungalows.

Approximately: 15 minutes transfer / 4 hours kayaking / 1 hour caving / 1 hour hiking

DAY 5: Vang Vieng – Luang Prabang (B)

Leaving Vang Vieng, we’ll drive up into the amazing mountains of northern central Laos, where we will visit one of many Hmong villages. The Hmong  are an Asian ethnic group from the mountainous regions of Laos, they are also one of the sub-groups of the Miao ethnicity in southern China. Hmong people began a gradual southward migration in the 18th century due to political unrest and to find more arable land.  We’ll end our journey in Luang Prabang a UNESCO World Heritage site.  This beautiful city was the royal capital and seat of government for the Kingdom of Laos, until the communist takeover in 1975.  The main part of the city consists of four main roads located on a peninsula between the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers. The city is well known for its numerous Buddhist temples and monasteries.

DAY 6: Luang Prabang Cycling City Tour (B,)


After a short transfer let’s find the right bikes then, we’ll drive to the Morning Market. Unlike the large grocery stores you might be familiar with back home; the food here is still produced by small farming families and villages and brought to Luang Prabang from the surrounding Northern provinces. Your guide will explain the common vegetables and fruits that are in season and buy pick up some snacks for later.
The Wat Mai (“New Monastery” built in 1796) will be our first visit. It was given its present name following the restoration undertaken in 1821 by King Manthathourat. The most striking feature of the temple is the gilded relief panels covering the front facade. Next to Wat Mai temple is the National Museum which used to be the Royal Palace (Haw Kham) and many religious treasures. After the museum you will take another ride around the town enjoying the sites on your way to visit Wat Visoun. This temple was constructed during the reign of King Visounarat around 1520. In 1942, it was turned into a Museum of Religious Arts, and houses collections of Buddha images and religious artifacts from the fourteenth century.
Let’s take an easy ride along the the Nam Khan river to Wat Xieng Thong.This is one of the most important temples in the entire country of Laos and the most important one in Luang prabang.
If time permit, let’s stop along the Mekong river and enjoy delicious fresh fruits shake before our last stop.
To finish our trip we will climb the steps of Phou Si hill, to the top, From here enjoy the view of the peninsula where the Nam Khan river meets the mighty Mekong river. 

DAY 7: Trekking to Kuang Si waterfall (B,L)

Starting from Luang Prabang we drive out into the close by valley south east of Luang Prabang. Arriving at the Long Lao village we start our hiking tour. We start this tour with exploring the life and culture of the village where Khamu and Hmong people live.
The trail leads than passing some fields and vegetable gardens before reaching the forested mountains with quite wild sceneries and steeper climbs. After a stretch of forest hiking (slippery in wet season) we will explore an interesting cave. During the Second Indochina War people say it helped the local people as a bomb shelter!
The early afternoon we then arrive at the crystal clear water of just one of the springs that feed the famous Kuang Si waterfall. The last short walk brings us down the steep waterfall where we have time for a relaxing swim.
In the Kuang Si waterfall sanctuary you can see bears living in their project area. An NGO helps to set up proper care and areas to keep the animals.
In the afternoon we return to Luang Prabang

DAY 8: Elephant Experience – Mekong Dinner Cruise (B,LD)

We will pick you up at about 8am and proceed to the Elephant Park Project area about 15km (9 miles) outside of town and in the middle of green, natural surroundings on the banks of the Nam Khan river. You will be introduced to our protected Asian elephants and go out for a scenic ride. Enjoy the new perspective and the wonderful natural scenery on this 1-hour jaunt. A stunning landscape, tranquility and the lush environment provide a relaxed journey on the back of the elephant. Lean back in your seat and enjoy…

On the ride, you make your way through forests and along the Nam Khan river. The ride brings you to and from the amazing Tad Sae waterfalls where you have a chance to swim or to take a short walk in the forest. In the dry season (February to August) we walk through rice paddies, on the river bank, and into a nearby village. Bring shoes that can get wet, sun protection, pocket money for tips, a swimsuit, towel and long trousers! Lunch in a simple local restaurant is included.

Afternoon as leisure

You will enjoy the beautiful the sunset over the river before making a short stop to experience an interpretation of traditional dances by local villagers. The menu onboard offers a variety of Lao dishes. The boat departs daily at 17:30 and will return to Luang Prabang around 21:00.

DAY 9: Departure (B)

Free leisure before transfer to the airport for departure

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