Laos Active

Luang Prabang – Vang Vieng – Vientiane

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Name Laos Active
Code LART013E
Validity
Duration 8 Days / 7 Nights
Tour Type Private Round Trip
Tour Start Daily
Destinations Luang Prabang – Vang Vieng – Vientiane

Highlights

  1. Discover the UNESCO site of Luang Prabang
  2. Experience the amazing flora of Laos
  3. Open your senses and learn about the beauty of this country

Day 1 – Luang Prabang Biking city tour (B,)

Arrive 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 revolution in 1975. The main part of the city consists of four main roads crisscrossing a peninsula between the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers.

In the afternoon you will be taken on a half-day bicycle tour of the city, on which you will visit Wat Visun, Wat Aham and the beautiful Wat Xieng Thong. We’ll also climb Phu Si Mountain to enjoy the spectacular view overlooking the city as well as the confluence of the Nam Kan River and the Mekong.

Free time in the afternoon.

Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 2 – Trekking to Kuang Si Waterfall (B,L)

Leaving Luang Prabang we will drive out to a nearby valley, south east of Luang Prabang. After arriving in the Long Lao village we start our hiking tour by exploring the life and culture of the village where Khamu and Hmong people live.

The trail leads through fields and vegetable gardens before reaching the forested mountains, surrounded by wild landscapes and steeper climbs. After a stretch of forest hiking we will explore an interesting cave, during the second Indochina War the cave served the local people as a bomb shelter!

In the early afternoon we will arrive at the crystal clear water of one of the fresh water springs that feed the famous Kuang Si waterfall. The last short walk brings us down to this steep waterfall where we will have time for a relaxing swim. In the Kuang Si sanctuary, set up and supervised by an NGO, you can see bears living in their project area.

Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 3 – Mekong Cruise – Cooking Class (B,D)

After breakfast we will embark for a boat cruise on the majestic Mekong river.

We will stop and visit the holy Tam Ting Caves where the Nam Ou River meets the Mekong. This is a site of ancient spiritual significance; here during the 15th century the animistic religions were peacefully united with Buddhism. Within the two caves of Tam Ting are stupas, shrines, and carvings of Buddha. Over 4,000 wooden figures of Buddha stand within the natural limestone caves, testament to the skill of Lao craftsmen centuries ago.

Continuing along the river, we will visit some local villages: Ban Xang Hai where you can see rice whisky (Lou Lao) being distilled and taste the local product and Ban Xang Khong, where Lao craftspeople make saa paper from the bark of mulberry trees.

On the boat you will have a hands-on opportunity to cook your own traditional Lao feast. You’ll prepare three Lao dishes plus, of course, the Lao staple of sticky rice before sitting down to a banquet of the dishes you cooked, and more! You will be able to choose from:

Menu A

  • Varieties of jeow: the fundamental Lao spicy dipping sauces
  • Mok Pa, fish steamed with herbs in banana leaves
  • Tamarind’s specialty: lemongrass stuffed with chicken & herbs, or

Menu B

  • Gaeng Pet, A spicy Lao curry
  • Koy Pa, a minced fish salad fragrant with herbs
  • Popular green papaya salad, the perfect balance of sour, sweet, spicy and salty!

Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 4 – Luang Prabang – Vang Vieng (B)

At 5:30am you will have the opportunity to assist with the ritual of the “Tak Bat”, the practice of offering food to monks.The monks leave the monasteries early in the morning, walking in a single file and lead by the oldest, carrying their alms bowls in front of them. Laypeople wait for them and place food, flowers or incense sticks in the bowls.

Leaving Luang Prabang we will drive up into the amazing mountains of north-central Lao, where we will visit Hmong villages. The Hmong are an ethnic group from the mountainous regions of Lao. They are also one of the sub-groups of the Mao from southern China. Hmong people began a gradual southward migration in the 18th century due to political unrest and a lack of arable land, settling eventually in Lao.

We’ll end our journey at the small city of Vang Vieng, tucked in amongst giant limestone cliffs. This is an area of tremendous natural beauty, with the small Nan Song River passing through the shadows of the dramatic mountains.

Overnight in Vang Vieng.

Day 5 – Vang Vieng – Kayaking and Caving (B,L)

After breakfast we will be transferred by car from Vang Vieng to the Khmu village of Vieng Samay, about 10km 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, and emerges on the other side of the range offering panoramic views of the Nam Kouang valley.

A trek back over a small pass leads us 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.(Approx.: 15 minutes transfer / 4 hours kayaking / 1 hour caving / 1 hour hiking)

Overnight in Vang Vieng.

Day 6 – Vang Vieng – Vientiane (B)

Today will drive south to Vientiane, the capital and largest city of Laos, situated along the bank of the Mekong river. Vientiane became the capital in 1563 due to fears of a Burmese invasion. During French rule Vientiane was the administrative capital and due to economic growth in recent times, it has become the economic center of Laos.

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

After this we will move on to the famous, and 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 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.

Overnight in Vientiane.

Day 7 – Orchid Trek (B,L)

At 7:30am we will depart from the hotel, arriving at the village of Ban Phatkhay at 9:30 where 2 expert, local guides will wait for us. We will travel by car to Say Pha, passing through rice fields before arriving at orchid Pha Say orchid. We will walk on small trails and explore different forest types, including semi-deciduous jungles and bamboo forest. You can expect to see an abundance of rare orchid flowers. Your guides will be able to avail you of local knowledge and insights into the extraordinary biodiversity of this incredible jungle habitat. You will also have the opportunity to learn many things about traditional medicinal plants and other plant families such as: Cane, the Gingers and the Dypterocarpes.

We will stop for a picnic lunch in the bed of a dry river. The afternoon will end with a swim at the waterfall of Tad Say before returning to the village. We will return to Vientiane by around 18.00h.

Overnight in Vientiane.

Day 8 – Departure (B)

Free leisure time before transfer to the airport for departure

**End of services provided through Focus Asia**

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