Laos In Depth
- Active Adventure
- Culture & Heritage
- Off The Beaten Path
Day 1: Arrival in Luang Prabang
Day 2: Luang Prabang – 1/2 Day Heritage Tour & Kuang Si Waterfall
Day 3: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Caves – Muang Soune
Day 4: Muang Soune – Nong Khiaw
Day 5: Nong Khiaw – Muang Hiem
Day 6: Muang Hiem – Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park
Day 7: Morning Gibbon calls & Birdwatching – Muang Hiem
Day 8: Muang Hiem – Xieng Khouang – Phonsavanh
Day 9: Discover the Plain Of Jars
Day 10: Phonsavanh – Vang Vieng
Day 11: Vang Vieng – Kayaking & Caving
Day 12: Vang Vieng – Fullday Trip to Elephant Sanctuary
Day 13: Vang Vieng – Vientiane
Day 14: Vientiane – Fullday City Tour
Day 15: Vientiane – Phou Khaokhuay
Day 16: Phou Khaokhay – Paksan
Day 17: Paksan – Nam Sanam Waterfall – Sainamhai Resort
Day 18: Sainamhai Resort – Ban Konglor
Day 19: Ban Konglor – Ban Thalang
Day 20: Ban Thalang – Buddha Caves – Thakhek
Day 21: Thakhek – Xe Bangfai
Day 22: Xe Bangfai Cave – Campsite (Kayaking)
Day 23: Xe Bangfa – Thakhek
Day 24: Thakhek – Savannakhet – Pakse
Day 25: Pakse – Wat Phou – Ban Khiet Ngong
Day 26: Ban Khiet Ngong – Khone Phaphaeng – Khone Island
Day 27: 4000 Islands Exploration – Khong Island – Bolaven Plateau
Day 28: Jeep Tour through the Hidden Trail in Paksong
Day 29: Bolaven Plateau – Pakse – Departure
There is no journey that can offer you a deep understanding of this country than the ‘Laos in-depth’ tour. Travel from the north, discover the peaceful heritage town of Luang Prabang, also the home of splendid nature. Embark on boat trips and hit the back roads to Pak Ou Caves, Nong Kiaw and Muang Hiam and see the hidden beauty of Laos countryside. Feed your curiosity by travelling to the mysterious Plain of Jars. Enjoy kayaking and caving on the scenic Nam Song River in Vang Vieng. Take a full-day tour to the landmarks of Vientiane – Laos capital before venturing through the central region. The central area of Laos is usually less-visited by travellers, but places like Phou Khaokhuay, Paksan, Thakhek and Xe Bangfai are gifted with breathtaking scenery of rugged mountains and lush forests. In Pakse, head to see the ruins of Wat Phou – a great pre-Angkor temple and take a boat trip into the renowned area of Si Phan Don, or the ‘4,000 Islands’. At the end of the journey, hit the hidden path on a jeep tour in Paksong and admire its endless coffee plantations and stunning waterfalls.
Saibaidee! Welcome to Luang Prabang, Laos.
Upon arrival at Luang Prabang Airport, your private guide and driver are waiting to meet you, holding up a welcome signboard with your names on it and take you directly to your hotel.
After checking-in, you will have time to relax and adjust to the pace of Luang Prabang. There will be a short tour briefing this evening with your guide followed by a welcome dinner at Friends Restaurant, KhaiPhaen. It’s a social enterprise based restaurant that empowers disadvantaged youth with vocational training amongst other support.
Please note: You must have both a passport and a visa to enter Laos. And your passport must also have at least six months’ validity remaining beyond the date that you enter Laos. You can get a visa on arrival in Laos. Make sure you have two passport-sizes photographs.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
After breakfast, meet your private guide and driver again for the exploration of this charming heritage city. Begin your day with a guided visit to the Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts. Your next stop is the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. You will also take a look at the Traditional Art & Ethnology Center to learn about the many Lao ethnic groups.
After lunch at Tamarin restaurant, transfer to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the pools or walk along the forest trails. You have the rest of the afternoon to refresh at the waterfalls. You will also get a behind the scenes experience with the team from Free the Bears, nearby the falls. This sanctuary rescues and rehabilitates sun, moon, and sloth bears from bile farms.
Return to the city, you will ascend the 329 steps to the top of Phousi Hill for a beautiful sunset view of the city and its glowing reflection on the Mekong River.
The tour ends after a visit to the famous Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by local and hill-tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
After breakfast and check out of your hotel in Luang Prabang, transfer to the nearby market to buy some fresh foods before continuing further to Muang Soune, which locates 65Km from the center in the north of Luang Prabang by the bank of Nam Ou River.
Along the way, you will make a short stop at Ban Pak Ou to take a small motorboat crossing the Mekong river to visit the mysterious Pak Ou caves.
Arriving in the village of Muang Soune, you will be welcomed by the host family who will be your hosts for the night. Join and help the host with preparing lunch with the food you shopped this morning. This is the chance to learn about Lao cuisine. During the meal, the folk tales will be told by the host family and translated by our guide.
After the home-hosted lunch, your guide will take you on a stroll around the village to see the life of local people. You will then visit the house of the chief of the village, and talk with him about the living condition, the village history, or anything about the village.
The rest of the day will be at your leisure. You can choose to either relax or to enjoy agricultural activities such as rice planting and harvesting in surrounding rice fields (depending on the season); Traditional fishing techniques (you can sample your catch for dinner!); or walk around the farm and rice field.
If you wish, the dip in the Nam Ou river is very inviting and worth a try.
Before having dinner, you will join the Baci Ceremony, held by the elders of the village. The Baci ceremony as a traditional ritual of the Lao people expresses the spirituality of the country and is a highly memorable experience and a deep insight into Lao culture for the participants.
After dinner at the local home, you may take a walk around the riverbank, sense the nature, admire the starry sky before going to bed.
Overnight in Muang Soune
Rising early to watch the sunrise over the Nam Ou river, and the nearby mountains.
After breakfast, take the boat trip exploring the surrounding areas. You can try some fishing by the stunning Nam Ou river, experience traditional fishing techniques. After that, get back to the village and transfer directly to Nong Khiaw.
We arrive in Nong Khiaw in the early afternoon, transfer to your hotel in town for check-in, and rest afterward.
Later, meet your guide again for a short hike up to Nong Khiaw viewpoint to enjoy the panoramic view over the town, and the beautiful sunset.
Overnight in Nong Khiaw
After breakfast, depart Nong Khiaw for a four-hour drive through the most rural and least developed part of Laos via Vieng Kham to Muang Hiem. These back roads are a perfect way to venture off the beaten track and explore the real Laos. You will see very few other travelers, mostly rural dwellers who are just as interested in finding out about your lives as you are of theirs. The drive can be challenging on some parts of your journey due to poor road conditions; however, the verdant and rugged mountain scenery combined with the colorful local population makes for a memorable experience.
Arrive in Muang Hieam and check in the simple guesthouse to take some rest before taking a walk to explore this small village. If time permits, you can visit the nearby hot spring, which is very popular among local people. If you wish, you can take a dip to refresh like the locals.
Overnight in Muang Hiem
After breakfast, your expert guide will meet you at your hotel in Muang Hiem and take you to Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park.
First, you will visit the National Park’s headquarters and the Visitor Center in Muang Hiam. The guide will share a presentation of the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park and introduce the on-the-ground efforts in protecting wildlife.
After a 30-minute drive along a curvy road through gorgeous mountainous landscapes and through the National Park corridor you will arrive at Ban Nam Poung Village, an ethnic Khmu Village, situated on the edge of the National Park’s boundary.
The village guide, porters and cooks will be waiting to meet you at the village. The guide will inform you about the itinerary of the upcoming tour. Soon after that, get on a hand tractor (tok tok) – a tractor for plowing rice paddies that can be converted into a transportation vehicle and pass through this Khmu village. This is a good opportunity to see the daily village life and briefly learn about Khmu culture. The following 5km on the tok tok will continue through the village’s rice and corn fields with moderate climbs, learning along the way about upland rice cultivation and rural livelihoods.
Once at the edge of the fields and forest your guides will explain the different management zones of the park and you will start trekking into the National Park. The trek will follow a 7km trail built and maintained by the village. This trail passes through a thick jungle and mixed deciduous forest. At about 12:00, enjoy a local picnic lunch inside the National Park.
After the lunch, continue trekking. The local guide will show you medicinal plants and spot animal tracks and birds along the way. After around 4 hours trekking inside the National Park, you will arrive at the Nests campsite and will be shown to your accommodation – the hanging spherical “Nests”. Enjoy free time to relax and bath in the nearby river.
Relax around a campfire inside the National Park and enjoy a traditional Khmu dinner prepared by the village cooking group.
After dinner, you will receive a briefing about wildlife viewing at the Poung Nied salt lick – one of the largest salt licks in the National Park. The guides will inform you about the species of animals they may see and explain the rules and expectations for spotlighting.
It’s important to follow the introduced rules, such as: no talking, no eating at the salt lick observation tower. You will stay at the observation tower for a few hours (depending on your curiosity and patience) until no later than 11:30 pm.
The most common animals that you might spot include Sambar and barking deer (AKA muntjak) and various species of civets, although, if lucky, you may see also other protected animals such as bears, dhole, several species of wild cats and others.
Overnight in The Nests (two people per Nest).
Early morning before breakfast, your guide will offer you two options:
First option: wake up at 6:00 AM walk back to the nearby salt lick to identify different wildlife tracks. Spend approximately an hour in the observation platform, as morning is a great time for bird watching. After, follow the guide to check the camera traps.
Second option: wake up early morning at 5:30 and walk for 20 minutes up the mountain to try your luck to listed to the calls of the critically endangered Northern White Checked Gibbons. Enjoy sunrise and bird-watching from a small viewpoint platform in a tree. At 6:30 follow the guide to check the camera traps.
Once back to the camp, enjoy breakfast and view wildlife camera trap photos taken by the camera trap during the previous night.
Twelve surrounding villages involved in this project receive monetary bonuses in the form of a village development fund based on the number and type of wildlife, and wildlife proof identified and viewed in the camera traps (Fee is included in the tour price).
Leaving the camp, you will trek back through the forest to the village’s fields, and enjoy a farmer’s picnic lunch before riding the tok tok (hand tractor) back to the village.
Once arriving in the village your village hosts will bid you a fond farewell. You will be then transferred back to your local guesthouse in Muang Hiem.
Overnight in Muang Hiem
After breakfast, return to Muang Hiem and embark on a four-hour driver over the mountains to Xieng Khouang, and Phonsavanh in central Laos which is best-known for having been heavily bombed during Indochina War. But, of course, it is also famous for the historic Plain of Jars. Along the way, you can make some stops at villages to observe the rural life of local people, including ethnic minorities such as the Hmong people.
Arrival in Phonsavanh, the capital of Xieng Khouang province, and check into your hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Overnight in Phonsavanh
After breakfast at the hotel, meet your guide for a drive over the plains to visit the Plain of Jars site 1 before continuing to drive to the Plain of Jars 2. Here you have time to find out more about the still unclear history of the stone Jars which dated back to about 2000 years ago.
After lunch at a local restaurant, drive about 1 hour more to visit Muang Khoun, the old capital of Xieng Khouang where you will see some ruins left over from the war.
Overnight in Phonsavanh
After breakfast, meet your tour guide for a five-hour drive to Vang Vieng, a small town of 25,000 people sits alongside the Nam Song River. Limestone cliffs create a beautiful backdrop for the adventure-tourism oriented town. Vang Vieng is famous for its beautiful landscapes, hiking, and light adventure.
Arrive in Vang Vieng and check into your riverside resort. The rest of your day will be at your leisure. You may have a stroll around the town or take a short hike of 30 minutes to the summit of the Phatang Mountain viewpoint to admire the beautiful scenery of the rice-paddy laden valley and Vang Vieng.
Overnight in Vang Vieng
After breakfast, you are driven to Pha Tang around 18 km north of Vang Vieng. After an introduction to the basics of kayaking, you will set off down the beautiful Nam Song River which offers various small but fun rapids along the way to your first stop at Tham Xang Cave. Here you will walk up to the massive theater like cave while hearing about the local history about the area!
After emerging from the cave, continue to paddle to a picnic spot on the riverside where you enjoy your box lunch.
After lunch, continue to paddle down the river until you reach the next stop at the Organic Farm where mulberry tea and a variety of different fruit wines are produced.
Keep going further you will arrive at Tham None Cave, one of the largest caves in Vang Vieng! It served as a bomb shelter for local villagers during the Second Indochina War. However, today it is home to a bat family and the ‘Magic Stone of Vang Vieng’. The final leg of the journey will be a gentle paddle downstream to Vang Vieng where you will arrive just in time to catch the sunset.
Approximately: 4 hour-kayaking and 1.5-hour caving/walking.
Overnight in Vang Vieng
After breakfast, take a short drive (around 1.5 hours) to the outside of Vang Vieng through rural landscapes, agricultural areas, and forested hills to Vang Vieng Elephant Sanctuary.
Upon arrival, meet your guide and walk for 10-15 minutes to the Centre of the Sanctuary. Change into traditional Lao clothing and followed by an introductory lesson about elephant anatomy, history, and behavior. Soon after that, meet the elephants, feed, interact and play with the elephants in their natural home as you learn about their behavior and history. Take your time and have many photos with the elephants as you want.
Enjoy fresh fruit and traditional Lao food for lunch at the Sanctuary.
You will learn how to make herbal medicine balls, feed the Elephants, and then walk with the elephants to the lake. Bathe and brush the elephants. Take your chance to join the elephants for a therapeutic mud spa. Swim in the lake and take photos with them.
Walk the Elephant back to the Sanctuary. Change clothes and say goodbye to those friendly giants. The amazing time to enjoy the sunset before leaving the Sanctuary for your return drive to your hotel in Vang Vieng.
Overnight in Vang Vieng
After breakfast, enjoy a four-hour drive on the National Road No. 13 heading south through beautiful landscapes and mountains to Vientiane, the capital city of Laos. On the way, stop at the Hmong Market to observe the daily lives of the locals. Around midday, arrive and check into your hotel in Vientiane. Take a short rest afterward.
Embark a short sightseeing tour of Vientiane. Begin with a visit to Patuxai Monument, also called Anousavari, and enjoy a panoramic view over the city from the top. It is Vientiane’s own Arc de Triomphe that is located at the top of Lan Xang Avenue, the Champs Elysees of the Lao capital.
Next, pay a visit to COPE Visitor Centre, a non-profit organization in Laos which provides prosthetic limbs, mobility assistance and rehabilitation for Lao people who can’t afford it. The war is still heavily present in Laos, the country that experienced the most bombings by the Vietnam War. Still today, a good deal of those unexploded ordnances (UXOs) explode as people work their fields and children play in the countryside. Laos is actively fighting the use of these cluster bombs and the COPE centre will depict and inform visitors on these issues. Your visit to COPE Visitor Centre will open your minds and your hearts.
Finish the tour and get back to your hotel where the balance of the day is at your leisure.
Overnight in Vientiane
The capital city of Laos, Vientiane, still feels like a sleepy city with relaxed charm, tree-lined boulevards, fascinating temples, and colorful markets. This city conjures up exotic images, with the curious mix of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French influences.
After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up for the further exploration of this charming city. Start with Vat Sisaket, the only temple left intact after the Siamese invasion in 1828. It shelters hundreds of statues of Buddha within its walls.
Continue with Wat Prakeo, now used as a religious museum where you can see Lao and Khmer works of art. It used to host the “Emerald Buddha” that is now on display at Bangkok’s Royal Palace.
Continue to visit the iconic Pha That Luang, a gleaming golden stupa which is perhaps the most important national monument in Laos.
After lunch at a local restaurant, you will uncover other important sites including Buddhist monasteries of Wat Ong Tue and Wat Haysoke. Next, visit Lao National Museum, the charming French Colonial Architecture building, and Wat Si Muang, a Khmer temple with a fascinating legend that still holds great significance among the Laotian community.
End your day at the Vientiane Central Market of Talat Sao and Talat Kouadin, where major goods are traded, including fresh food, household, textiles, gold, and silver. You may even see ancient souvenirs on display.
The rest of the day will be at your leisure. You may take a stroll along the Mekong Riverside, have a cold beer Lao while enjoying the cooling weather at sunset.
Overnight in Vientiane
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Ban Hatkhai, where a long-tail boat awaits to take you upstream on the Nam Mang, before continuing along with one of its tributaries, Houay Xai. End of the boat trip, embark on a 2 hour-trek passing through an evergreen canopy as you gain height. A picnic lunch will be served on the way.
After lunch, continue your trek. You will arrive at the magnificent pair of waterfalls Tad Xay and Pha Xay, particularly beautiful during and after the rainy season. You have some free time at Tad Xay which has a pool recommended for bathing. From there, a truck will take you to Phou Khaokhuay, where the night is spent at the house of a local family.
Summary: 2.5-hour transfer, 1-hour boating & 2-hour trekking
Overnight in Phou Khaokhuay
After an early breakfast, transfer to the Tad Leuk, a local tourist attraction amidst the mixed deciduous forest. A permanent exhibit at the Visitors’ Center gives you some good information on the flora and fauna of the national park. The Tad Leuk Nature Trail points out some interesting botanic details. After that, you will embark on a trek to Tad Leuk Waterfall.
After lunch at Tad Leuk, continue trekking following a path along the Nam Leuk to the Tad Sang (Elephant Waterfall) waterfall, another idyllic place for bathing and relaxation. Along the way, a large number of orchids can be seen, especially in the wet season. From here, you will hop on the minivan and take the direct transfer to Paksan where you will spend the night.
Summary: 3-hour transfer & 3-hour trekking
Overnight in Paksan
After breakfast, take a short transfer to Thang Beng, where you leave the highway and enter the Phou Hin Poun NPA (National Protected Area). The scenery will become much more spectacular, featuring limestone karsts, forests, and verdant rice paddies. Driving through the towering mountains of Khammouane to the Lao Loum village of Ban Na Hin where you will enjoy lunch and relax for a while.
Transfer to a nearby Nam Sanam waterfall and spend time swimming, relaxing, and enjoying sightseeing around the area. After that, commence a soft trek through old-growth forest back to Ban Nahin. From there, hop on the car again to continue the transfer to the Sainamhai Resort, where you will spend the night
Overnight in Sainamhai Resort
After breakfast, you will depart Sainamhai Resort and transfer to Laos’s most famous Kong Lor Caves. Life jackets and head torches will be provided before a short walk to the main entrance of the cave.
Upon entering the cave, you will board a long-tail boat for a journey through the length of this spectacular cave, along an underground section of the Hin Boun River. It will be 7.5km before you can see daylight again! The river flows all-year-round and reveals vast formations of stalactites and stalagmites, which can be explored partly on foot whilst inside the cave. In places, the cave is up to 90 meters wide and 100 meters high. The cave is still used by local villagers as an access route to the region beyond (it is far quicker than climbing over the mountains through which this cave cuts!).
Once out on the other side, stop for refreshments and walk to the local villages, enjoying the scenery, and observing a simple way of life. Enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the villages.
Return by boat, traveling ‘downstream’ through the cave to Ban Kong Lor where you will have a stroll through the villages surrounding Ban Kong Lor. The soft light of the late afternoon is arguably the most photogenic and you should meet lots of villagers as they walk home from the fields, markets, and schools. There are various options for walking routes, so again, it is best to discuss with our guide how far you wish to go.
Finish the tour and transfer to your hotel in Ban Kong Lor.
Tip: There is the chance to paddle the small traditional boat to explore the blue lagoon near Spring River Resort. You have the option to paddle the boat by yourselves or with the help of a villager
Overnight in Ban Kong Lor
After breakfast, say goodbye to the lovely village and depart for Ban Thalang. After one-hour driving, you will arrive in Ban Thabak, where you enjoy a 2-hour boat ride along the Nam Theun River. The boat is made from the old aircraft oil tank, and suitable for up to 3 people per boat.
During the boat trip, enjoy the tranquil landscape of the along the bank of the river. Make a stop at one or two local villages if you wish to see deeper into the local life.
Finish the boat trip and transfer to Ban Nam Yen, to cool off and take a dip at the natural swimming pool. You will also make a short stop at Tham Mangkon (Dragon caves) before transferring directly to the beautiful village of Tha Lang in Nakai District. The rest of the afternoon is free for your own exploration. You can choose to stroll along the river to admire the sunset or go fishing on the lake, which is created by the Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Dam
Overnight in Tha Lang at a local Guesthouse
Wake up early, you will prepare for your own breakfast with the help of Sabaidee Guesthouse owner. After that, depart for Thakhek, the capital town of Khammouane Province. Along the way, you will make a short stop to visit Nam Theun 2 Visitor Center, where you can have some information about this Hydropower project.
Continue driving to the village of Ban Nakhang Xang, to meet the village guide, who leads you the trek through secondary forest, while the guide points out forest products that provide the local people with significant food resources. The trail passes through a cave that exits into a striking valley surrounded by towering cliffs and forest.
The picnic lunch will be served at Tham Hip, which offers a great panoramic view over the area.
Continue the trail, following the shoreline of Nong Thao Lake, where you can see local fishermen at work. Later you will arrive at Tham Nong Paseum Cave where you can swim into the 400-meter-long cavern and explore its dramatic stalactites and stalagmites. You will then continue walking and climbing a bamboo stairway to the Buddha Cave, which was rediscovered in April 2004. The cave contains 229 bronze Buddhas that are said to be over 300 years old.
Finish the tour and drive to Thakhek to spend the night.
Overnight in Thakhek
Depart Thathek and take a 4-hour drive on an unpaved road through a landscape of limestone mountains. Stop for lunch at the boat landing at Pak Thung.
After lunch, get on a local motorboat for the 2-hour trip passing forested karsts on the Xe Bang Fai River. Later you will arrive in the village of Ban Tham Namlort in Xe Bangfai and settle into the village homestay. Then you are free to take a walk to explore the village.
Tonight you will enjoy dinner with a local family who is your host for the night.
Summary: 4-hour transfer, 2-hour long tail boat
Overnight at a local homestay in Xe Bangfai
After breakfast, paddle in your inflatable kayaks steadily upstream through 5 rapids to the Xe Bangfai Cave. Paddle into the cave, where you will have time to explore the cave and see the amazing stalactites and stalagmites. Continue to addle on through the cave for 11 Km to the other side of the cave for a picnic lunch.
Continue to kayak. You will arrive and settle in your camp on the beach at the mouth of the cave. Spend time to relax and chill out.
Summary: 7 hours kayaking
Overnight at camp in tents
Rising early to enjoy breakfast. After that paddle your kayak for 500 meters to where a tractor will take you for 1 hour to the starting point. You will trek for 2 hours through an easy old forest filled with birds to a very large waterfall in the Hin Namno National Protected Area. Picnic lunch is served at the waterfall.
Walk back to the trailhead where the pick-up will be waiting to take you back to Thakhek for your last night of the journey.
Summary: 15-minute kayaking, 1-hour tractor, 4-hour trekking, 4-hour transfer
Overnight in Thakhek
After breakfast and check out of your hotel, meet your guide, and continue your journey south. After 1,5 hour driving, you will arrive at Savannakhet City which is most famous as the birthplace of the father of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Kaysone Phomvihane, who was born here in 1920. In Savannakhet, you will take a short tour of the architectural highlights, which include various French villas and the striking St. Teresa Catholic Church. You will also pay a visit to the beautiful 16th Century temple of That Ing Hang. An impressive central stupa dominates a courtyard which is flanked by statues of Lord Buddha, in a style similar to Wat Sisaket in Vientiane. That Ing Hang is among the most revered temples in Laos and many Buddhist pilgrims will travel here during December for the annual ‘Boun Phathat’ ceremony.
The last visit is the small but very interesting Dinosaur Museum. Dinosaur remains are being found nearby which are between 150,000,000 – 250,000,000 years old. You can speak to the resident paleontologists about their work and the proceeds from your visit help to keep this project going.
After lunch in a local restaurant in Savannakhet, it will be time to hit the road again heading to Pakse, which takes approximately 3.5 hours.
Arrive Pakse in the afternoon and check into your hotel. Then spend the remainder of the day at your leisure or explore the hotel’s neighborhood. This small city has a mixture of Chinese and French architecture and some lively markets.
Overnight in Pakse
After breakfast, take a short walking city tour of Pakse including some nice remnants of the French period before transferring by road to Wat Phou. The journey takes approximately 1 hour.
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 water reservoir and promenade, the second level features quadrangular pavilions and galleries of carvings, and the top level is the sanctuary itself. The temple was built by the rulers of the Khmer empire before the construction of Angkor Wat. 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.
After lunch, continue into Champassak to see samples of French colonial architecture. This town is known as the “Emerald Triangle” being the crossroad between Laos,
Leaving Champasak, continue to drive to Ban Khiet Ngong, which nested inside the Xe Pian NPA, the hidden charm of southern Laos.
Arrive and check into the King Fisher Eco-lodge, located adjacent to the Beung Kiat Ngong Wetlands and the Xe Pian Natural Protected Area. This unique lodge will provide you with a comfortable, intimate experience within exotic nature in a special environment facilitated by the unique location.
You are free for the rest of the day to stroll around the village and its surrounding area.
Overnight at Ban Khiet Ngong
After breakfast, you will explore the village of Ban Khiet Ngong and the surrounding area. The 2-hour trek takes you through an extensive wetland which is good for bird watching. Many water birds can be seen, so bring binoculars if you have them. On the way, you will pass the Giant Rock (Hin Houa Yak in Lao), a sacred place with a superb view.
Depart Ban Khiet Ngong you will drive further south to visit Khone Phapheng, considered the largest waterfall by volume in South East Asia; this is an impressive spot near the Lao-Cambodian border, set within an area which is teeming with wildlife, making this area one of the most breathtaking destinations in Laos.
After visiting the falls, take the boat venturing into the 4000-island area and check into your hotel. Called “Sipandon” in the Lao language, this area is where the Mekong stretches to over 14km wide. The river flows between an unknown number of islands, creating waterfalls and rapids.
After settling into your hotel, you are free for the rest of the day for your own exploration of the island. There is the option to rent the bike from the hotel, and cycle around the island to admire the beauties of the local village, and come back just in time to catch the sunset.
Overnight in 4000-island area
Following breakfast, you will explore the local peaceful villages of Ban Khone, where you will see an array of relics from the French colonial era and retrace the old colonial past, including old French colonial buildings, and the remnants of the first Lao railway with its locomotive. |
Continue to discover the 4000 islands area by tuk-tuk and visit the marvelous Liphi waterfall, also called the “Corridor of the Devil” one of the most beautiful waterfalls marking Lao border with Cambodia. If we are lucky, we may even see the rare freshwater Irrawaddy Mekong dolphin at Ban Hang Khone.
Afterward, take the boat upstream of the Mekong river to Khong Island, the biggest island of the area. Here, you will have ample time to drive around the island, visit the local village, or just take a cup of coffee before returning to Pakse
Upon arrival in Pakse, head east into the Bolaven Plateau, a mountainous region home to dozens of hill tribes, waterfalls, coffee, and tea plantations.
You will spend the night at Sabaidee Valley Resort experiencing a tru Natural Escape.
Overnight in Bolaven Plateau
After breakfast, meet the Jeep tour specialist at Chai Coffee, and have some discussion with him there when enjoying a cup of coffee. After that, hop on the Jeep and drive 30 minutes to Tad Moun waterfalls, where you can enjoy the fresh cool water, and visit the nearby vegetable farm.
Continue driving to the Coffee Farm of Mr. Khamsone via the 10KM bumpy and muddy road, which will take you 01 hour with your special Jeep car. Upon arrival, Mr Khamsone, the Coffee farm’s owner will take 1 hour to demonstrate about coffee roasting step and finish by a coffee cupping to Savor the different kinds of coffee (Robusta, Arabica, and Typica).
After enjoying a picnic lunch at the farm, continue driving to Laven village to see their daily life and their paddy field. From there, you will make your way to Suay village, where you can find many traditional longhouses made by bamboo, which is shared by some generations of 01 families.
Finally, drive to Tad Lo waterfall, where you will spend the last night in Laos at the lovely Tad Lo Lodge.
Overnight in Tad Lo
After breakfast, you are free to stroll around the lodge and the surrounding area before transferring to Pakse Airport to take a short flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia, or taking an overland exit through Chongmek International checkpoint to Ubon Rathani in Thailand, two and a half hours away. From there, board your one-hour flight to Bangkok and connect on to your flight home or travel on to more adventures, we will help you with the planning.
This sample itinerary was created by our travel experts as inspiration for your next trip. Ready for your customization. You pick to suit your budget, desires, and cultural experiences. The price of this trip will vary, depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and the availability of ground services. Please click on REQUEST A FREE QUOTE (above) and give us the necessary information to enable us to send you a FREE personalized quote within 48 hours if not sooner!
- Visit various temple and museum in Vientiane, Luang Prabang to learn about the culture of Laos
- Walk around the evergreen nature of Kuang Si waterfalls
- Cruising along the might Mekong River to visit the mysterious Pak Ou caves
- Cruising along the lazy Nam Ou River and Mekong River, experiencing the authentic lives, and its untouched nature along the way
- The holy Baci Ceremony and the authentic dinner with the local family
- The visit to the local villages during the tour to see the local life
- Explore Plain of Jars under the history of the stone Jars which dated back to about 2000 years ago
- Join kayaking on the beautiful Nam Song River and visit Tham Xang Cave
- Elephant Sanctuary tour, interact with Elephant and learning the efforts to re-enforce our friends back to nature
- Stroll around exciting 4000-island area and admire the life of the local peaceful village
- The scenic green mountainous area of Bolaven Plateau with various waterfalls, and plantation
- 28 hotel buffet breakfasts.
- 4 dinners and 22 lunches at well-selected restaurants
- Your own private guide and driver for in-depth cultural touring based on your interests
- Firsthand, sophisticated destination knowledge and recommendations from our locally born travel specialists
- Itineraries that are customized according to your interests and preferences
- A seamless travel experience, including all logistics, hand-picked hotels and restaurants, private airport transfers, internal transportation, and entry visa assistance…etc
- Around-the-clock support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip
Private English speaking guide, accommodation, private tours and transfer, A/C vehicles, some main meals, all entrance fees, tax, and service charge.
What’s Not Included?
Your international flights from and to Laos, the entry visa to Laos, personal expense, tips to guide and driver.
Free service. No credit card required
Reviews on Our Service
Vietnam Luxury Vacation Review: Sightseeing, Culture, 12-Day Travel
Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Sightseeing, Rice Fields, Boat Rides, 18-Day Trip
We started searching for our tour for Vietnam / Cambodia back in October 2022 to start the tour in the first week of January 2023. We selected this travel agency, and contact name provided to us was Elly. She was extraordinary with her communication with us. Excellent English speaking language capability & excellent in communication on Whats app and email communication. We went back & forth few times to arrange the tour we wanted. She was very accommodating in arranging our schedule. We requested automobile tour for both countries, just for two of us.
We requested SUV FOR OUR COMFORT AND WE GOT IT!
We requested to get the high end hotel in each city and she gave us choices and not only that but send videos of each hotel for each City and then waited for us to decide which hotel we select. All the Hotels turned out to be one of the best we would expect to be. M/s Elly, personally came to visit with us on the evening of our first day tour. Very respectful and asked if she could do anything for us.I had requested before in our communication, if she would arrange for power converter for us, since my camera chargers are all in 110. So brought two power converters for us! Something, not everyone will do this kind of service. So all the kiddos to her!
as to the drivers in each city were very courteous, very professional and very careful in how and where they have to do driving.
our Guides in each city were so friendly, courteous and knowledgeable in where ever we visited. How ever wish two guides in Hue An and Ho Chi Minh City spoke English more clearly.
We only wish we had one extra day in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, , however, there is so much to see in the world! Perhaps next time will visit Vietnam.
As to Cambodia, same thing to express about site seeing and our Guide and drivers. Guides and drivers really made our travel thro’ the countries where we do not speak that language, made it so comfortable and enjoyable.
Hi Lam…hope you don’t mind me contacting you directly. My wife Barb & I (Paul) have just arrived home after completing a great tour of Vietnam which was organised through your company Asia Pioneer Travel.
We want to tell you personally how impressed were were with the level of service that we received…it was amazing and the best that we have experienced anywhere. After we made initial contact with you, you handed us over to Chloe to arrange the trip which she did in very quick time and the amount of detail that she went to was fantastic. From the moment that we walked out of Hanoi airport on arrival to see our guide waiting, we knew that we were in for a great trip. The drivers & guides were fantastic and Chloe was in contact by email constantly making sure that everything was going to plan & that we were happy. At one stage we need to vary the itinerary by extending accommodation & changing air tickets and Chloe did that without any fuss or bother.
We also met some wonderful Vietnamese people along the way and Ive got to say that they are our kind of people, very generous & friendly.
Enough of my ramblings, thanks for a great visit to Vietnam, and a special thank you to Chloe for looking after us in such a terrific manner…she is a very special caring lady.
Kind regards & I hope that we have the opportunity to use Asia Pioneer Travel again….Paul & Barb Little from Newcastle Australia
Superbly organised and very flexible
We travelled to Vietnam for two weeks, booking the whole trip through Lizzie at Asia Pioneer, including hotels, excursions, trips, guides and internal flights. Lizzie was so helpful and flexible, accommodating changes to our schedule until the last minute, especially as we missed our connecting flight in Dubai and arrived a day later than planned (our fault). Nothing was too much trouble, including getting my wallet back to me after I left it in the car taking us to the airport.
We started in Hanoi in the North and worked our way south to Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon), taking in Ha Long with its amazing sea stacks and sleeping on a boat, then to Sa Pa on the overnight sleeper train from Hanoi, with its wonderful countryside and rice terraces. Afterwards, we went to Hoi An for three days of relaxation. Hoi An probably my favourite place and three days are enough to cover it. Then onto Hue, the original capital, my least favourite place and then finally on to HMC, which was a real contrast to the North.
The 3-star hotels that Lizzie picked were very good and comfortable, and the guides were very knowledgeable. I would definitely use Asia Pioneer again for future Asia trips.