Embark on this remarkable private journey and tick off your ancient must-do list as you are about to discover one of the smallest capital cities in the world: Vientiane. Located on the bank of the mighty Mekong River, Vientiane has a recorded history that stretches back to around 1,000 AD. The city is filled with classic monuments and buildings which all have different stories to be told. Moving North, the ancient city of Luang Prabang is a delightful mix of exquisite temples, French colonial buildings and beautiful landscapes. This journey is an ideal option for a family or a small group of friends to experience the highlights of Laos. A perfect add-on to any of our Vietnam tours. It is also possible to do this itinerary in reverse, travelling from Luang Prabang to Vientiane.
Day 1: Vientiane Arrival
Welcome to Vientiane - the capital and largest city of the Lao People's Democratic Republic. Upon arrival, our local English speaking guide will meet you at the airport and then escort you to your hotel for check-in. Free at leisure.
Overnight in Vientiane.
Day 2: Vientiane - Budda Park (B/L)
After breakfast, we start to visit Wat Sisaket, the city's oldest temple. Dates back to 1818, Wat Sisaket is the most important heritage temple now standing in Laos. It houses thousands of Buddha images from many countries, long lost architectural styles, sculptures and paintings; Wat Prakeo, former royal temple of the Lao monarchy and originally built in 1565, is home to the Emerald Buddha image, Buddhist sculptures are displayed along the perimeter wall, including a 6th to 9th century Dvaravati-style stone Buddha and several standing and sitting Buddhas. On the way to the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, stop to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, Vientiane's own Arc de Triumph.
In the afternoon, we take a short drive out of the city to visit the Buddha Park where hundreds of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures brought from India are displayed.
Return to the city and enjoy the sunset on the Mekong River.
Overnight in Vientiane.
Day 3: Vientiane - Luang Prabang (B/D)
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to the airport for a short flight to Luang Prabang. Upon arrival, our guide will meet you at the airport and then escort you to your hotel for check-in.
We enjoy a short-guided tour visit the National Museum at the former Royal Palace displays a lovely collection of the artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign. We then visit the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center (close on Mondays) where you are able to observe valuable artifacts and traditional clothing and implements from each of the 20 ethnic minority groups which inhabit the Luang Prabang area. Next, we will visit Wat Visoun, the holiest temple of the city, which was entirely rebuilt in 1887 after being destroyed by the invading Black Flags from Southern China. In the courtyard of Wat Visoun stands the Watermelon Stupa shaped like the fruit from which it takes its name.
Late afternoon, we will climb up 328 steps of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a beautiful sunset view of the city and the Mekong River. We then will explore the Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by the hill tribe and local people surrounding Luang Prabang.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 4: Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Caves (B/L)
You have the option to wake up before dawn to witness and participate in offering alms to hundreds of saffron-robed monks – an awe-inspiring sight. Please tell your guide a day in advance if you wish to make an offering so he/she can prepare some food for you to hand over to the monks. This early morning ritual dates back generations in Laos. Watch the town come to life in the morning then return to the hotel for breakfast or join the locals for a bowl of delicious noodle soup after the alms giving ritual. (If you do not wish to make an offering, please keep an appropriate distance and observe the ritual in silence. Dress appropriately – shoulders, chest and legs should be covered).
We then visit the Morning Market, where you will see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings.
After breakfast at hotel, we visit the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. We then board a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious of Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. Along the way, we will make a stop at Ban Muang Keo village and observe local weavers and whisky distillers honoring their time worn traditional crafts. We will visit the caves of Tham Ting and Tham Phoum which house hundreds of Buddha statues. Lunch at local restaurant. We return to Luang Prabang in the afternoon, continue to visit Ban Xang Khong, a village well known for silk hand-weaving and traditional Saa paper-making.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 5: Luang Prabang - Kuang Si Waterfall - Departure (B/L)
Breakfast at hotel. We visit the Ock Pop Tock weaving centre, an organization that is offering the weavers in the area the chance to earn a decent income through their weaving skills, then drive our way to Khouang Si Waterfall. On the way, you can visit to the Lao ethnic minority at Ban Na Ouane Village, H’Mong Village and also visit Buffalo Dairy Farm where you will have chance to join a scheduled tour of the farm, cuddle up to the beautiful Buffalos, give them a bath or feeding them, hands on milking demonstration and learn how to milk a buffalo, also trying some tasty ice-cream and cheese. Once at the waterfall, take a leisurely hike through the national park towards the Kuang Si Waterfall and pass by the Asian Bear Rescue Center. You will enjoy feeling the mist of the cool, turquoise waters of the different waterfalls. Swimming in the refreshing waters is possible. We also have chance to visit the Butterfly Park (closed on Tuesdays) nearby.
Lunch at local restaurant. We will be back to Luang Prabang and free at leisure until the time transfer to the airport for departure flight.
End of services.
Please contact us for the best rates.
HOTELS TO BE USED
Economy: Sanctuary Luang Prabang Hotel/ Deluxe or Le Sen Boutique Hotel/ Deluxe
Superior: Maison Dalabua Hotel/ Deluxe
Deluxe: Pullman Hotels & Resorts Luang Prabang/ Premium Deluxe
Luxury: Sofitel Luang Prabang Hotel/ Garden Suite
Economy: Lao Orchid Hotel/ Superior
Superior: Le Thatluang D'oR Boutique Hotel/ Premier or Salana Boutique Hotel/ Deluxe
Deluxe: Lao Poet Hotel/ Urban Classic Executive
Luxury: Crowne Plaza Vientiane Hotel/ Deluxe Mekong
Hotels are subject to availability. In case any above hotel is not available, another similar hotel will be used.
+ Hotel accommodation in half-twin/double shared room with daily breakfast
+ Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D = Dinner)
+ English speaking local guide (for other languages supplements apply)
+ Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle unless stated otherwise
+ Entrance fees for mentioned visits
+ Private boat trip to Pak Ou Cave
+ Rice experience at Living Land Farm (join-in)
+ 2 bottles of drinking water per day during the tour
+ 2 cold towels per day during the tour
+ Taxes and service charges
Services not included
+ International and domestic flights
+ Visa fees, travel insurances
+ Meals other than mentioned above
+ Early check-in or late check-out fees
+ Camera/video entrance fees (if any)
+ Personal expenses (drinks, laundry, telephone, tips etc)
+ Additional transfer required due to emergency situation
+ Peak season surcharge and compulsory gala dinner on 24 Dec and 31 Dec
+ Guide and driver tips: USD8/pax/day
+ Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above
Terms & Conditions
A deposit of 30% of the total booking is required within three days from the date of confirmation. The balance payment is due at 45 days prior to tour commencement date. For bookings made less than 45 days, full payment is required. Bookings will be cancelled if payments are not received by the due date(s).
Payment can be made via bank transfer or credit cards. In addition to the total payable amount, credit card payments will incur a merchant fee of 2.5% for MasterCard and Visa, 3% for American Express. Any bank charges and merchant fees must be covered by the customer.
Confirmed bookings must be cancelled by the party leader in writing (by email) and this will only be effective once the written cancellation is confirmed by FantaSea Vietnam. Cancellation by the party leader will be subject to the following cancellation fees from the date the written cancellation is received:
+ more than 45 days prior to tour date - 10% of total cost
+ between 31 and 45 days prior to tour date - 25% of total cost
+ between 16 and 30 days prior to tour date - 50% of total cost
+ within 15 days prior to tour date or “no show” - 100% of total cost.
Any amendments to confirmed bookings must be requested by the party leader in writing (by email). Whilst we will endeavor to assist, we cannot guarantee that requests will be met. If we can make the requested change, you will be provided with a quote detailing any additional costs, whether incurred due to your amendments, imposed by a Third-Party Travel Provider, or our amendment fees. In all cases, the following amendment fees shall apply:
+ If amendments are made more than 45 days prior to scheduled tour date: the first amendment is free of charge. From the second amendment: a charge of U$80 per amendment for a short trip (less than 7 nights) or U$150 per amendment for a long journey (7 nights or more).
+ If amendments are made within 45 days prior to scheduled tour date: the above standard cancellation fees will apply, and full price will apply to new travel arrangements.
We will not charge any cancellation/amendment fees if it is due to a breach by us of any of our obligations or due to our fault; or if the Third-Party Travel Provider amends your booking through no fault of the customer.