The Real Luang Prabang & Southern Cruise
- Culture & Heritage
Day 1 – 5 Luang Prabang
- Luang Prabang arrival – private transfer to the hotel. Follow by a welcome dinner.
- Sightsee the charming ancient town, ride a boat to the famous limestone caves of Pak Ou caves, trek along trails to Kuang Si Waterfall. And do not miss the glorious sunset at Mount Phousi.
Day 6 – 9 Luang Prabang – Fly to Vientiane
- Fly to Vientiane.
- Discover all landmarks in the capital, try some farming activities and visit the famous Buddha Park.
Day 10 Vientiane – Departure
- Transfer to Vientiane Wattay Airport International Airport, board your flight home.
See the real Luang Prabang and Laos southern region on a cruise. Discover Laos heritage town and its picturesque surrounding areas. Visit its fascinating landmarks and beautiful botanical garden. Join a cultural experience tour before enjoying the fresh water at the azure pools at the foot of Kuang Si waterfalls. After attending the sacred alms-giving tradition, hop on a cruise down the fertile Mekong River. In Ban Lae, enjoy the countryside as you meet and work on the farm with a local family. Head to Pakse on the Wat Phou cruise and view the pristine scenery along the river. as well as visits to traditional Laotian villages. Explore the wild paradise of the “4,000 islands” and the magnificent Khong Pha Peng waterfall, known as “the Niagara of the East“.
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 guide and driver at the hotel lobby and transfer to Ban Wat That to board a 15-minute leisurely boat trip down the Mekong River. Upon arrival at Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden, you will be given a short presentation about the gardens. After that, walk through the Ginger Garden and the Ethno-botanic Garden, which is the centerpiece of the garden. Follow the path through the Limestone Walk and take in the amazing mountainous Mekong landscape. Learn how to make a bamboo stick animal at the site of the hunting lodge of the former royal family.
Continue your tour of Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden walking through the Arboretum, Palm Garden, and Bamboo Garden to your viewpoint that overlooks the rice fields.
Stop by the Mist House where you will learn more about the importance of biodiversity conservation. Finish your excursion with an optional orchid talk at Pha Tad Ke Nursery. All of the gardens will have introductory panels and labels. You can always ask the expert staff in the garden should you have any questions or require more information.
Enjoy a delicious Lao lunch at the Pha Tad Ke café before taking the boat back to Luang Prabang.
Your city tour begins with a visit to the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. After that, you will visit the Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts. If time permits, we will take a short walk around the small streets of the city center, watching the life of local people.
Late afternoon, we climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic sunset view of the city and 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 at the hotel, transfer to the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Center (TAEC), the collection of diverse Lao ethnic groups. Upon arrival, troll around to visit the center to understand more about the Lao diverse ethnic culture. After that, join the seminars of “Ethnic Diversity and Cultural Change in Laos”. This fascinating 60-minute presentation and question-and-answer session give background on Laos’ ethnic communities, their history, and their cultural practices, including livelihoods and crafts. You will have an opportunity to learn about lifestyles in ethnic villages and are shown unique artifacts from TAEC’s collection that are not accessible to the general public.
An ethnic Khmu lunch will be served at TAEC Café.
Transfer directly to the beautiful Kuang Si waterfalls which is the biggest in the Luang Prabang area with three tiers leading to a 50-meter drop into spectacular azure pools before flowing downstream. The pools also make great swimming holes and are very popular with both tourists and locals
After spending time swimming and relaxing at the falls, take a short visit to the Bear Rescue Center, which houses a couple of dozen animals rescued from the hands of poachers and traffickers.
On the way back to Luang Prabang, take a short visit to the Ock Pop Tock Living Craft Center, set serenely close to the Mekong, this beautiful, traditionally styled workshop, where weavers, spinners and batik makers produce top-quality fabrics, offers free tours every half-hour. This is also one of the best spots to admire the sunset in Luang Prabang
Transfer back to your hotel where the rest of the afternoon and evening will be at your leisure.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Wake up as the sun rises, join the most sacred tradition of Laos, the daily morning alms giving, which dates to the 14th century. More than 200 Buddhist monks depart from various temples to gather their daily meals from the faithful residents sitting quietly on the streets. Before getting back to the hotel for breakfast, visit the temporary morning market near the former Royal Palace. Just set on the ground, the local people come here to barter their day’s catch from rice to vegetable, to fish, or chicken. This is the best chance to experience the flavor of local life
After breakfast, drive directly to Ban Xang Hai, which is famous for the traditional rice whiskey distilled. From there, enjoy the 30-minute elephant ride exploring the Mekong river at the nearby elephant camp.
Continue driving to Ban Pak Ou, and take the boat crossing the Mekong river to visit the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims.
After exploring the caves, your cruise will continue further onto Nam Ou river to the lovely Nam Ou Riverside Resort.
You are free to relax by the inviting pool of the resort or stroll around the nearby villages for your own exploration.
Overnight at Nam Ou Riverside Resort
After breakfast, transfer directly to Ban Lae, which locates 25Km from town (10Km from the resort). Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by a local family who will be your hosts for the night. Before strolling around the village to see the life of local people, pay a visit to the local school, which should be livelier during the weekdays. If not, the visit to the local market is another option for you.
An authentic lunch will then be served at the house of the host family.
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!); walk around the farm and rice field, or explore the river with the local boat.
If you wish, the dip in the Nam Xeuang river is very inviting and worth a try.
Before the sunset, 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.
You may wish to join and help the host with preparing the dinner. This is the chance to learn about Lao cuisine. During the dinner, the folk tales will be told by the host family and translated by our guide. After dinner, you may wish to stroll around
the riverbank and sense nature, admiring the starry sky before going to bed.
Overnight at a local homestay in Ban Lae
After late breakfast and check out of the hotel, you will be picked up and driven to the airport for a short flight to Pakse in Southern Laos.
Upon arrival, your private driver will pick you up at Pakse airport and transfer you to the River Resort in Champasak for the first-night stay. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the resort, its view on the Mekong, its decks, its boats, its 2 pools, its garden, and forest.
Enjoy a welcome cocktail at the bar followed by a Lao dinner at our restaurant facing the Mekong.
Overnight in Pakse
After late breakfast, transfer to the meeting point where you will take embark on a long-tail boat ride to where the boat Vat Phou is moored. Upon boarding at the Vat Phou boat and you will settle in your cabin.
After a short rest, head to the top deck where lunch will be served. Enjoy the finest of Laotian, Vietnamese and Thai dishes, lovingly prepared and beautifully presented.
Reach the Vat Phou ruins – the majestic pre-Angkorian 10th-century temple complex that gave its name to your boat. Visit the museum at the ruins site, walk up to the highest temple and take as some photos…
As dusk falls, transfer you back to the Vat Phou boat to enjoy the tropical sunset on the deck. Dinner is served on board, while the boat docks for the night alongside a remote Laotian village.
Overnight on board
After breakfast on board, set sail for the village of Tomo, a few minutes walk away from the mysterious hidden forest temple of Oum Muong. Afterward, rejoin the boat to continue your cruise southwards.
At 12.30. lunch is on the deck, while you leisurely sail closer to the wild paradise known as the 4,000 Islands.
Late afternoon, disembark from the boat to walk through Ban Deua Tia, a small Laotian Village where the traditional way of life has not changed in centuries, you will also visit the local school and share some time with the students. Your day’s cruise finishes around 16.30, at the most northern tip of Don Khong, the largest inhabited island in the river archipelago.
After dinner, the evening is yours to relax and enjoy.
Overnight on board
The Vat Phou boat will depart at 7.00 and while breakfast is served. Then you will cruise down the Mekong to the small village of Ban Veuthong. Here you will board a small boat to meander among the 4,000 Islands to Khone Island. You will visit the old French railway, the French colonial house, and walk across the bridge that links Khone and Det Islands.
After lunch at a local restaurant on Don Khone Island along the banks of the river, transfer to visit the Khone PhaPheng waterfalls, the “Niagara of the East”.
End the cruise trip where you will be picked up and driven back to the River Resort in Champassak. Upon arrival, enjoy one hour massage to relax.
Overnight in Champassak
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Pakse Airport for your outbound flight or to the Thailand border for your departure by your private van. We trust you’ve had a wonderful adventure with us in Laos.
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- Stroll around the green garden of Pha Tad, the first and only botanical garden in Laos, and learn about the bio-system of Laos
- Visit various temple and museum in Luang Prabang to learn about the culture of Laos
- The panoramic view from the top of Phousi Hill over the town of Luang Prabang; from the top of Wat Phou over the area
- Walk around the evergreen nature of Kuang Si waterfalls
- Attending the daily morning alms giving in Luang Prabang
- Cruising along the might Mekong river to visit the mysterious Pak Ou caves
- The visit to the local villages during the tour to see the local life
- The holy Baci Ceremony and the authentic dinner with the local family
- Experience Wat Phou Cruise and explore the unspoiled 4000-island area
- 10 hotel buffet breakfasts.
- 3 dinners and 7 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, domestic flights, 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
Incredible Vietnam experience with Tony
Great company, great service
Amazing People and Great Service
We travelled for 7 weeks so the tour that we structured gave us a great mix of guided and free time. We were able to see the normal tourist sites, as well as spend some in-depth time in the villages and communities. This gave us a much greater insight into life in Vietnam and Cambodia. All I can say is that they are amazing and incredible people!
Our guides were great. Our drivers were safe and looked after us very well. I would not recommend anyone try driving on thier own if you are coming from a country where people obey the traffic laws. We learned over time that is is actully very organized chaos!
If you are looking for a great agency, we can assure you that Asia Pioneer cares about you and will look after you with every detail!
Thank you to Mr. Lam and the entire staff.
Maria & Tom – BC, Canada