Day 01: Arrive Hoaisay – Luang Namtha (Breakfast)
Pick up from your hotel in Chiang Rai, Thailand then transfer to Chiang Khong, a border between Thailand and Laos. Upon arrival in Ban Hoaisay, Bokeo province, Laos, we continue our drive to Luang Namtha. Luang Namtha is a home to more than 20 different ethnic groups some of these are Akha, Tai-Lue, Khmu, Hmong, Tai Dam, Lanten, Laho and many more making it a remarkable repository of ethnic diversity and indigenous knowledge. The traditional clothing, handicrafts, livelihood systems and rituals of these ethic groups are a valuable part of the province’s cultural heritage. Arrival in Luang Namtha, transfer to your hotel for check in and free at leisure.
Overnight in Luang Namtha
Day 02: Luang Namtha (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
This tour is ideal for the people with limited time but want to experience a typical tropical forest and visit some unique villages. The trek will pass mainly secondary and few patches of primary forest of Nam Ha National park. Set out from Ban Chaleunsouk, a Khamu village approximately 20 km from Luang Namtha on a trail that ascends through 10 to 20-year-old secondary forest before emerging on the village’s upland rice fields. The local guide explains the area’s natural history, while trekkers take in the great views from the path as it levels out along a ridge before re-entering the forest, where the trees are older and support a wide range of plant and animal life. Enjoy a Lao-style picnic lunch along the way, either in the forest or in the shade of a farmer’s hut. In the afternoon, the trail enters the Ban Nalan community forest, and as the path begins to descend to the village, it passes a small clearing, which served as a gun position during the early 1960s, when Pathet Lao revolutionaries and royalist forces fought in the area. Arrive in Ban Nalan and enjoy dinner with villagers before relaxing and chatting with them to learn about Khamu culture and exchange. Spend the night in a Ban Nalan lodge overlooking the Nam Ha River.
Approximately: 4hours of walking / 10kms in distance
Overnight at home stay at Ban Nalan
Day 03: Luang Namtha (Breakfast/Lunch)
Begin the second morning with a pleasant walk following the Nam Ha River. Here, the forest varies from stands of large hardwoods to new growths of bamboo. The trail passes through the village of Ban Nalan Tai (South Ban Nalan) and the open cultivated areas of the Lanten village of Ban Nam Koy. Enjoy lunch eaten in one of the village houses. The trail leaves the river and climbs for a couple of hours. This is the most challenging section of the trail, but also the most beautiful, as it passes through the least impacted forest of the trip. Trees up to four or five hundred years old create a dense canopy which provides a habitat for many birds. Pause quietly for a minute and listen to the forest come alive with the sounds of birds and insects. From the top of the ridge, enjoy spectacular views to the north with Luang Namtha visible in the distance. The final descent goes past mountain rice fields and cultivated areas of the mixed Lanten and Khamu village of Ban Nam Lue. The trail here can be steep and slippery in places, especially after a rainfall. The trail ends at the Lanten village of Ban Nam Lue. Return to Luang Namtha by tuk tuk towards the end of the afternoon.
Approximately: 4hours of walking / 10kms in distance
Overnight stay in Luang Namtha
Day 04: Luang Namtha – Muang La (Breakfast)
Driving southeast, you pass through more beautiful countryside and arrive in Muang La, a remote village deep in the heart of northern Laos. Short stop to visit Luxay Market locates in the middle of Muang Xay town. In this market, you can find all sorts of products including handicrafts, local souvenirs, foods and other household products. Afterward, a visit to Udomxay Museum locates on the top f Phou Sebey in Ban Cheang Udomxay town. The name of the mountain comes from the French army camp that was situated there. The French army called the mountain “C.B.” – the French pronunciation of this abbreviation further on transferred into today’s Lao name “Sebey”.
Approximately: 4-5hours of driving
Overnight stay in Muang La
Day 05: Muang La – Muang Kwa – Nongkiaw (Breakfast,Lunch)
Around 2½ hours after leaving Muang La, you arrive in Muang Khua where you embark on a superb river cruise. The descent of the Nam Ou from Muang Khua to Nong Khiaw, is without doubt one of the most picturesque cruises in the region! From the comfort of your private boat, you see numerous villages dotted along the banks of the river and some stunning limestone formations as the sheer cliffs rise from the water’s edge.
We then board a boat down stream to Muang Ngoy Neua. This town is known as more rural and timeless with nearby trekking opportunities. Arrive and check in your guest house.
Approximately : 4-5hours of cruising
Overnight stay in Nong Kiaw
Day 06: Nongkiaw (Breakfast, Lunch)
A day exploring this incredibly beautiful region and trekking through three villages. In the morning, take the fishing boat about 15 minutes downstream on Nam Ou river to Ban Sokkhan, a Lao Loum(low land Lao) village, after visit these village, begin to trek 2 hours through rice field to Ban Pha Yoong( a Hmong ethnic village), and Ban Tad Lene( a Khmu village). After picnic lunch, we continue trekking to the village of Ban Sopkong, from there, we return to Muang Ngoi by boat.
Approximately: 3-4hours of walking
Overnight stay in Nong Kiaw
Day 07: Nongkiaw – Luang Prabang (Breakfast/Lunch)
Boarding a small private boat this morning you chug leisurely downriver to Luang Prabang. Arrive at the confluent Nam Ou and Mekong visit the sacred of Pak Ou Caves, locally called Tham Ting – underground sanctuaries venerated for centuries – it houses of thousand of gold lacquered of Buddha statues crammed into two caves, the upper and the lower, carved out of a towering limestone cliff. The statues range in size from a few centimeters tall to the size of a human, and the view from the mouth of the cave provides sweeping views of the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers. The caves are as well a destination for local pilgrimages, especially during the Lao New Year period of Pii Mai. Short visit to Ban Shang Hai – a small fishing village that specializes in producing Lao Lao (fermented rice liquor). Arriving in Luang Prabang late afternoon then transfer to your hotel for check in.
Approximately: 5-6hours of cruising
Overnight stay in Luang Prabang
Day 08: Luang Prabang (Breakfast/Lunch)
After our breakfast, take a guided tour to the Former Royal Palace that was constructed in 1904. It is now known as the National Museum (note: closed on Tuesday). The former palace displays a lovely collection of personal artifacts of the Royal family, photos, musical instruments and gifts received from foreigners. Continue on foot to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief. Visit Wat Xieng Thong, the most revered temple in Luang Prabang. The ornate carved and gilded funeral vehicle of the former king is kept in one of the buildings in the temple grounds. The intricate golden facades, colorful murals, glass mosaics and unique three-tiered roof make this one of the most beautiful temples in Asia.
Afternoon, visit Photisak silver shop, and Minority Art centre, learn to know different type of minority groups in Laos, their ways of living, and their ways of survival. Last but not least, a visit to Wat Phabat Tai, a monastery complex built in the 17th century, a best place to view sunset if visiting in the evening. Relax and experience the beauty of Lao Traditional Massage at local spa.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Day 09: Luang Prabang (Breakfast/Lunch)
Free and Easy
Day 10: Luang Prabang – Xieng Khuang (Breakfast/Lunch)
After breakfast, we will embark on an excursion by land from Luang Prabang to Xieng Khouang. On the way, we will make stops at Ban Houi Hei for panoramic view of mountain valleys. Upon arrival in Xieng Khouang, we will visit the Mulberry farm which specializes in the production of naturally-dyed, handmade Lao silk. Make a trip to the local market for some shopping.
During the Second Indochina war, Xieng Khuang was the scene of extensive ground battles and intense aerial bombardment due to its strategic importance. The town was the most heavily bombarded areas per capita worldwide together with massive quantities of defoliants and herbicides were dropper.
Approximately: 6-7hours of driving / 335kms in distances
Overnight stay in Xieng Khuang
Day 11: Xieng Khouang – Vang Vieng (Breakfast, Lunch)
Breakfast at the hotel, a short visit to Phonsavanh market prior to visiting the plains of Jars, mysterious and ancient stone jars are apparently carved out of solid rock and area scattered all over the plateau. The biggest jar is more than 3.25 meters high. There are several theories as to the purpose of the jars which are estimated to be 2,500 – 3,000 years old. The site was also known as a recurring battle zone. After lunch, travel down to Vang Vieng by road; enjoy the beautiful sceneries, along the way visit Kasi village. Arrive in Vang Vieng, check in and free at leisure.
Vang Vieng offers plenty of stunning natural and cultural adventures. The town is famous for multi day trek, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, caves, tubing and swimming on Nam Song River.
Approximately: 5-6hours of driving / 310kms in distances
Overnight stay in Vang Vieng
Day 12: Vang Vieng – Vientiane (Breakfast, Lunch)
A visit to an organic farm Vang Vieng, the farm promotes the use of natural materials and traditional methods for growing its crops and raising its animals. Please ask to try a beautiful goat cheese (seasonality) available in the farm. Continue our journey down to Vientiane Capital, on our way short stop to visit fisherman village at Ban Huaymor and That Heua Market, famous for its fish and other local produce.
Approximately: 3hours of driving / 160kms in distances
Overnight stay in Vientiane
Day 13: Vientiane (Breakfast, Lunch)
After breakfast, proceed for a day tour of Vientiane starting with a visit to That Luang Shrine (Great Sacred Stupa), the most important national monument in Vientiane, with its golden stupa believed to contain a relic of Lord Buddha. Next, visit the Patuxai Monument, situated in central Vientiane prefecture. You may climb to the top of this victory gate monument and enjoy a panoramic view of the city. A visit to Wat Sisaket, the only temple in Vientiane that has survived the destruction of the city by the Siamese in 1818 and is now a museum containing 6848 Buddha images and store scriptures published n the 18th century. Across the street is Ho Prakeo which houses the Emerald Buddha. From the terrace of Ho Prakeo, you can enjoy a view overlooking the President’s Palace.
Enjoy your lunch on the boat along the Nam Ngum River just about 20kms drive from the centre. Short visits to Dong Makhai Market is made on our way back to town, where you will find many wildlife species are here for trade, organic produce, Mekong River fishes, and handicrafts.
Overnight stay in Vientiane
Day 14: Departure – Vientiane (Breakfast)
Breakfast at your hotel then you are free until transfer to airport to your next destination. Say goodbye to your Laotian guide and driver with fond memories of a wonderful tour of Laos.