This tour from the south, the widest part of the Mekong River, through Vientiane, to the northern province of Luang Prabang. You’ll explore historical monuments., the 4000 Islands, beautiful waterfalls, caves, the Plain of Jars, Lao-style markets, and so much more on this exciting journey.
DAY 01: PAKSE TO CHAMPASAK (D)
After arriving in Pakse, you’ll move to Champasak to visit the Khmer temple ruins of 11th century Wat Phou situated near the Mekong River and the Phu Kao mountain. There was a temple on the site as early as the 5th century but the surviving ruins date from the 11th to 13th centuries.You can choose to return Champasak or head to Don Khong Island for the night (depending on arrival time in Pakse).
DAY 02: 4000 ISLANDS – DON KHONE (B)
We’ll take a boat to explore the 4000 Islands (Si Pan Don). Here is the widest point of Mekong River, up to 12 km wide during the rainy season. When the water recedes, many small islands are exposed, that why it is called 4000 islandsLi Phi Falls, a destination later in the day, is near here. A rare few hundred Irrawaddy freshwater dolphins live at the falls, and Ban Hang Khon is one of the few places on earth where you can watch these endangered mammals. We’ll stop to visit the old locomotive and railroad bridge, built by the French in order to circumvent the rapids and waterfalls that make this part of the Mekong impassable. Then, you’ll spend the night on Done Khone.
DAY 03: LEISURE ON THE ISLAND (B)
Explore lovely Done Khone Island, in the middle of the widest part of the Mekong. The setting, nature, the scenery, and the Mekong River will give you a busy, joyful day with lots of activities, but you might want to do nothing except take in the spectacular of the location.
04: 4000 ISLANDS – KHON PHAPENG FALLS (B)
Traveling by bus, we’ll head to largest waterfall in South-East Asia, Khone Phapeng before driving to the King Fisher Lodge in Ban Khiet Ngong. Here, you may ride elephants or hiking to explore the Xe Pian Protected Area.
DAY 05: KINGFISHER LODGE – BOLAVEN PLATEAU (B)
We’ll head to the Bolaven Plateau,located in the Annamite Mountain Range, along Laos’ eastern border with Vietnam. The renowned coffee of Lao PDR is produced in this region: the climate of the plateau, with its cooler temperatures and rainfall, is perfect for coffee production. After viewing several waterfalls — including the famous Tad Lo and Tad Fan. Our tour will end near another waterfall, Tad E-Tu. You’ll spend the night at one of the waterfalls.
DAY 06: BOLAVEN PLATEAU – PAKSE – SAVANNAKHET (APPROX. 335KM) (B)
A scenic drive from the Bolaven Plateau will return us to the Mekong, heading north to reach Savannakhet in the late afternoon. Before resting in Savannakhet, we’ll have time for a walk along the Mekong shore with the view of Thai city of Mukdahan on the opposite bank.
DAY 07: SAVANNAKHET – THAKHEK (APPROX. 180KM) (B)
A cozy ride through the countryside will provide charming views and an insight into rural Lao life. After arriving in Thakek city, a lovely country town with colonial architecture, you’ll check in your room and have an opportunity for an orientation tour.
DAY 08: THAKHEK – BICYCLE TOUR TO CAVES / LIMESTONE ROCKS / ROCK CLIMBING (OPTIONAL) (B)
You can choose a bicycle for your tour of Thakek including the stupa Sikhottabong, the “The Giant Wall of Laos” (Kamphaeng Nyak), and some of the many caves located along Road No. 12 to the east of the city. Then, you’ll spend the night in Thakhek.
DAY 09: THAKHEK – HIN BOUN – KONG LOR CAVE (B)
We’ll set out early on a cross-country minivan trip to the northern part of the provinces Khammuan and Boulikhamxay. In Phou Hin Boun there are many rare animals such as Assam macaques, langurs, gibbons and elephants. We’ll take a boat trip on the Hinboun River passing through tropical rain forest and the Kong Lor cave system. If lucky, we’ll meet one of the rare species face to face. We’ll see the rarely visited 7.5 km long Kong Lor Cave by boat; this is considered by some to be the greatest destination in Laos. Overnight in Nahin.
DAY 10 NAHIN – PHONSAVANH (APPROX. 350KM) (B)
From the small village of Nahin, a scenic day drive will take us to Phonsavanh and the Plain of Jars, driving through some of the most beautiful landscape in Laos. You’ll spend the night in Phonsavanh.
DAY 11 PLAIN OF JARS (B)
Your guide will take you to explore the Phonsavanh local market and an exhibit displaying the huge variety of bombs used during the Indochina War on the way to visit the Plain of Jars. You’ll visit sites 1, 2 & 3 within the Plain of Jars, all of which have been made safe (other areas are considered too dangerous due to remaining unexploded ordnance (UXO)).
Then we’ll explore Muang Khoun city, the former royal capital of the Xieng Khouang region. Though the town was heavily bombed during the war, a few colonial French buildings remain, along with several temples and the famous stupa tower of That Foun, built in 1576, and Wat Pievat. People say that That Foun was built over the ashes of Lord Buddha brought to Laos from India. Lastly, we will visit the MAG Visitor Center in downtown Phonsavanh where you can view a film explaining the areas we visited today. You’ll spend one more night in Phonsavanh
DAY 12 PHONSAVANH – LUANG PRABANG (B)
Leaving Xieng Khouang, we’ll take the road over the highlands to Luang Prabang. You’ll be able to enjoy scenic views and visit one of the many Hmong villages in the region. The Hmong are an ethnic group from the mountainous regions of Lao PDR and also one of the sub-groups of the Miao ethnicity in southern China.
Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The royal capital and location of government for the Kingdom of Laos until the revolution of 1975, it is situated at the confluence of the Mekong and Khan Rivers.
DAY 13 LUANG PRABANG – TAK BAAT – TUK TUK CITY TOUR (OR FREE DAY) (B/L)
Starting at 8:30, moving to Morning Market, your guide will show you the common vegetables and fruits that you can pick up as some snacks for later.After a short stroll, you will arrive at Wat Mai (“New Mon astery,” built in 1796). Its present name is given from the restoration undertaken in 1821 by King Manthathourat. The most incredible feature of the temple is the gilded relief panels covering the front facade. The panels tell the story of the highest incarnation of the Buddha — Vessentara. The gilded door frames merge into the relief panel, looks like a monolithic golden wall. Next to Wat Mai is the National Museum, which is Royal Palace (Haw Kham).
After visiting Wat Xieng Thong. This is one of the most important temples in Laos and the most important one in Luang prabang. To finish our trip we will climb the steps of Phou Si hill which is studded with many small temples and shrines. From here enjoy the view of the peninsula where the Nam Khan River meets the mighty Mekong River. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
DAY 14 LUANG PRABANG / THAD THONG – HILLSIDE RESORT (B/L/D)
A short tuk-tuk ride will take us to the That Thong waterfall by, where we’ll start trekking to a hidden valley retreat. Here, you’ll explore the forest and the rarely visited protected area with your guide on small trails. After an uphill walk, you’ll see villagers in a Khamu village, learning more more about their life. Afterward, we’ll take another short hike to a small resort for a Lao-style lunch beside the pool or in the garden. You can rest in your room or take another short walk to the view point on the hill, where you can see the Mekong and Luang Prabang on a clear day. Then, enjoy your dinner at the small restaurant or in the lush gardens.
DAY 15 HILLSIDE RESORT – KUANG SI WATERFALL TREK – LUANG PRABANG (B/L)
After breakfast, we’ll visit a Hmong ethnic village. From here we start a 3-hour jungle walk to the spectacular Kuang Si waterfall. Our guide will help you go to the bottom of the falls, where you can to cool off with a dip in the turquoise waters. If lucky, you’ll have a chance to see some Asiatic bears in their waterfall sanctuary. After joyful time at the falls, a TukTuk’ll transfer you back to Luang Prabang in the late afternoon. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
DAY 16 LUANG PRABANG – DEPARTURE (-)
Last day of the tour, we will drive you to the airport, boat pier, or bus station, depending on your travel plans, you can extend this tour for a 2 day Mekong cruise upriver to Houay Xay / Chiang Khong or proceed into Thailand from there