Best Of Laos
Laos is an enchanting country and offers ancient history, glittering temples, incredible scenery and a charming slow-paced way of life. Much less travelled than its neighbouring counties, Laos offers a wonderful opportunity to get off the beaten track and experience local culture. Follow the natural contours of Laos from north to south with this extensive 9-day itinerary.
From the northern hills and gleaming temples of Luang Prabang, visitors can explore the diverse local cultures and dramatic landscapes that have shaped this mesmerizing country. Moving south, guests can savour the charming capital Vientiane, with its exquisite Buddhist temples and ornate architecture, before continuing further down the Mekong River to the southern towns of Pakse and Champasak. The tour ends at the incredible 'Sipandon', where the Mekong fans out to create a land of 4,000 islands.
- Economy class international and domestic flights
- Accommodation & breakfast throughout
- Meals as detailed
- Local English speaking private guides throughout
- Airline departure taxes
PriceFrom $3,755.00 per person based on two people sharing*
Best time to go
The best time to visit Laos is between October and April when the weather's warm and dry throughout
- See the cultural highlights of Vientiane including Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues
- Visit the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo
- Explore Luang Prabang the cultural capital of Laos
- Partake in the daily morning ritual of ‘Tak Bat’ or giving alms to the monks
- Visit the Wat Mai temple at sunset
- Discover the mysterious caves of Pak Ou, two caves set in a limestone cliff
- Cruise down the Mekong River
Day 1: UK Departure
Depart on your overnight flight to Bangkok from London Heathrow
Day 2: Luang Prabang
On arrival in Bangkok, connect with your onward to Laos. Upon arrival at Luang Prabang, a guide and driver will be waiting to provide transport to your hotel for check-in. After checking in, enjoy free time at leisure at the hotel or exploring the town independently.
Accommodation: Sofitel Luang Prabang
Day 3: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Caves
After breakfast, start the city tour at Wat Xieng Thong, the most photographed temple in Luang Prabang. Afterwards, board a private longtail boat for the Mekong River cruise to the famous Pak Ou Caves. Locally called Tam Ting, the caves are filled with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues, coming in a wide range of sizes.
During the boat ride, watch the fishermen and villagers going about their daily life on the river. For many, the Mekong plays an integral role in daily life and represents one of the only means of transportation and commerce. After visiting the caves, cruise back to Luang Prabang. If time permits, stop at Ban Xang Hay, a village specialising in making rice wine. Once back in Luang Prabang, enjoy lunch at one of the town’s most celebrated restaurants: Tamarind
Begin an afternoon tour exploring the enchanting World Heritage Town of Luang Prabang. The tour starts at the former Royal Palace, now the National Museum, and continues on to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief. Next is Wat Sensoukarahm, built in 1718 boasting a dazzling golden façade. Continue to the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre. This museum is dedicated to exploring the rich diversity of Laos’ ethnic minorities, displaying traditional costumes, tools, and artefacts.
Accommodation: Sofitel Luang Prabang [ Half Board]
Day 4: Luang Prabang – Alms Giving & Kuang Si Waterfalls
For early-risers (05:30) there is a very special dawn visit to witness the monks leaving their pagodas to receive offerings of food from Luang Prabang residents. It is a beautiful, serene ceremony that highlights the spiritualism of the Lao people. Return to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast, visit Wat Visoun, the holiest temple of the city, followed by Wat Aham and Wat That, where the ashes of King Sisavang Vong are interred inside the large central stupa.
Continue then with a drive through the Luang Prabang countryside to Kuang Si Waterfalls. Upon reaching Kuang Si Waterfall, enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings or explore the surrounding dense jungle on foot. For the adventurous, it is possible to walk to the top of the falls via a steep track where beautiful views await. These waterfalls cascade down a multilevel limestone formation creating a series of turquoise blue pools perfect for swimming on a hot day.
Enjoy a delicious picnic lunch next to the falls. On the route back, make an optional visit to the Free the Bears sanctuary, housing 23 Asiatic Bears which were rescued from poaching. Additionally, make a stop at the Kuang Si Butterfly Park where beautiful gardens are filled with hundreds of butterflies. Make it back to the city in time to climb the 328 steps of Mount Phousi. At the summit, enjoy a beautiful sunset and panoramic views of the city below. After descending, there is a chance to explore the nearby evening hill tribe market before returning to the hotel.
Accommodation: Sofitel Luang Prabang [ Half Board]
Day 5: Luang Prabang – Vientiane – Buddha Park
After breakfast, transport will be provided to the airport for the flight to the country's capital Vientiane. Upon arrival in Vientiane, a guide and driver will be waiting to provide transport out of town for the morning tour, starting at Buddha Park. The drive takes around 45 minutes, along a road which serves as an important link between the Lao capital and Thailand.
Arrive at Buddha Park and enjoy a stroll around the park. Also known as Xieng Khuang, this unusual park is filled with over 200 Buddhist and Hindu statues. The quiet and tranquil setting along the Mekong River is a contrast to the slightly eccentric sculptures which were built in 1958 by a Lao shaman. After visiting Buddha Park, start the drive back to Vientiane.
En route, stop at the Lao Disabled Women Development Center. This centre aims to bring knowledge and skills to disabled women so that they can become self-sufficient, confident members of the community. Speak with the women working here and observe their skills at creating handicrafts such as handmade paper. Return to the city around lunchtime and check in to the Green Park Boutique Hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore Vientiane. We recommend ending the day along the riverside promenade sampling snacks, picking up some unique souvenirs or just soaking in the local scene.
Accommodation: Green Park Boutique Hotel [Breakfast]
Day 6: Vientiane
Spend a day exploring the charming capital city of Vientiane. The guide will provide a pickup around 09:00, heading first to the serene Wat Sisaket, one of the most beautiful temples in the capital. Continue to the nearby Wat Phra Keo, a religious museum displaying a collection of both Lao and Khmer works of art. Nearby is the Presidential Palace - a reflection of the colonial past of Vientiane.
Next make a visit to Wat Simuang, the most popular and venerated temple in Vientiane, considered as the guardian of the spirit of the city. Just nearby is the ‘Black Stupa’ of That Dam, a structure which was once covered with a layer of gold which was stolen by the Thais during their invasion in 1828. From here, travel on to nearby Pangkham Street and Nam Phou Fountain where tradition and modernity coexist. For lunch, enjoy a delicious Lao-style lunch at Makphet Restaurant. Established by Friends International, Makphet is a charity-run restaurant aiming to train the area’s street children in the hospitality industry.
After lunch visit COPE, an association working to help landmine victims. A visit to the centre provides in-depth information about the history of the American/Vietnam war and the lasting impact of unexploded ordinances (UXO) in the area and the efforts underway to clear them. Continue onwards to the holiest site in Laos, the 16th-century temple of That Luang. Next is a visit to the Patuxay monument, Laos’ version of the Arc de Triomphe, where it is possible to climb to the peak offering panoramic views of the city.
Accommodation: Green Park Boutique Hotel [Half Board]
Day 7: Vientiane - Pakse - Wat Phou - Champasak
After breakfast, transport will be provided to the airport for the flight to Pakse. Upon arrival, the guide and driver will be waiting to provide transport to Pakse for lunch in a local restaurant, after which you will have a one hour drive to Wat Phou. Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Wat Phou is a spectacular pre-Angkorian temple that sits amidst the rice fields and waterways of southern Laos. The temple was constructed in three levels: the bottom level is focused on the baray (water reservoir) and promenade, the second level features pavilions and galleries of carvings, and the top level is the sanctuary. The temple served as the most important economic and political centre of the region and still is one of the Lao people’s most revered temples.
Late afternoon head to your hotel and enjoy a beautiful sunset on the Mekong River from your resort.
Accommodation: The River Resort [Half Board]
Day 8: Champasak – 4000 Islands
Depart at 08:00 for a full day exploring the area known locally as Siphandon (‘4000 Islands’). In this beautiful area, the Mekong River reaches 14 kilometres wide and houses thousands of small islands. Travel first by car (about 2 hours) to the village of Ban Nakasang. From here, take a local boat to the peaceful island of Done Khone, home to small villages and plantations. It’s recommended to explore the area either by bicycle or tuk-tuk.
Begin the experience with a short boat trip, which provides the unique opportunity to spot the rare Irrawaddy Dolphin. Next, pay a visit to the impressive Lippi falls, on the west of Don Khone very close to the Cambodian border. Afterwards, experience the remnants of French colonial rule with a visit to the existing railway and bridge built to span the islands’ waterfalls. While exploring the area, take note of the laid-back atmosphere and local way of living that has changed very little over the years.
Lunch will be included at a local restaurant. Return to the mainland by boat and then return to the hotel by car, arriving back in time for sunset.
Accommodation: The River Resort [Half Board]
Day 9: Departure
After breakfast, transport will be provided back to the airport in Pakse for your overnight flight to London Heathrow via Bangkok.
Visas, other meals were not mentioned in the programme, drinks, overweight luggage, personal expenses, travel insurance, tips & gratuities
These itineraries are samples itineraries for previous clients. Speak to one of our travel experts at 020 7843 3531 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to create your perfect holiday based on your travel requirements.
* This is a guide price, based on travel in low season