- Active Adventure
- Animals & Wildlife
- Culture & Heritage
- Home Stay
- Learning Discovery
- Nature & Landscapes
- Off The Beaten Path
- Solo Travelers
- Tours for Couples
Hit the off-the-beaten-track destinations and explore Laos on a totally different route! Discover Luang Prabang’s rich culture and its picturesque landscape, en route meet the hill tribes in the surrounding areas. Venture to admire the ancient temples and hundreds of Buddha statues in Vientiane and the iconic Patuxay Monument – the capital’s own L’arc de Triomphe. In Pakse Shari. Embark on a Wat Phou cruise to view the pristine scenery along the river and visit traditional Laotian villages. Explore the wild paradise of the “4,000 islands” and the magnificent Khong Pha Peng waterfall, or also known as “the Niagara of the East“.
- Day 1: Arrival in Luang Prabang
- Day 2: Luang Prabang – Heritage Tour and Kuang Si Waterfalls
- Day 3: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Caves – Muang Soune (Homestay)
- Day 4: Muang Soune – Nong Khiaw
- Day 5: Nong Khiaw - Muang Hiam
- Day 6: Muang Hiam – Tad Loy Waterfalls & Camping
- Day 7: Trekking to the Nest – The Hanging House
- Day 8: Continue Trek to Muang Hiam
- Day 9: Muang Hiam – Xieng Khuang
- Day 10: Xieng Khuang – Muang Khoun – Paksan
- Day 11: Paksan – Konglor Caves
- Day 12: Ban Konglor – Ban Thalang
- Day 13: Thalang – Thakhek
- Day 14: Thakhek – Savannakhet – Pakse
- Day 15: Pakse – Wat Phou – Ban Khiet Ngong
- Day 16: Ban Khiet Ngong – Khone Phaphaeng – Khone Island
- Day 17: 4000 Islands Exploration – Khong Island – Bolaven Plateau
- Day 18: Jeep Tour through the Hidden Trail in Paksong
- Day 19: Bolaven Plateau – Pakse – Departure
- This itinerary is a privately guided tour, designed just to show you what is possible.
- We can tailor this trip, it's inclusions and the accommodations, to meet your requirements, budget, and interests.
Arrival in Luang PrabangDay 1
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
Luang Prabang – Heritage Tour and Kuang Si WaterfallsDay 2
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
Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Caves – Muang Soune (Homestay)Day 3
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
Muang Soune – Nong KhiawDay 4
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
Nong Khiaw – Muang HiamDay 5
After breakfast, depart Nong Khiaw and drive through the most rural and least developed part of Laos via Vieng Kham to Muang Hiam. 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 Hiam 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 Hiam
Muang Hiam – Tad Loy Waterfalls & CampingDay 6
After breakfast, depart Muang Hiam and take a 45-minute drive along a curvy road through gorgeous mountainous landscapes and the protected area corridor to Ban Sakok, an ethnic Khmu Village, situated on the edge of the protected area core zone boundary.
The village guide, porters, and cooks will be waiting to greet you then inform you about the itinerary of the following tour. The trek will soon start after that. First, you will be following 4kms through the village’s rice, tobacco, and cornfields learning along the way about upland rice cultivation and rural livelihoods.
At the edge of the fields and forest, enjoy a local picnic overlooking fields and the backdrop of Phou Louey Mountain. Here your guides will explain the different management zones of the park and how local people are able to coexist with nature.
Continue trekking into the forest following a 4km path built and maintained by the village toward Tad Loy Camp. The trail climbs steadily into mixed deciduous forests. Your local guide may show you medicinal plants along the way.
Arrive at the beautiful Tad Loy waterfall. Spend time relaxing at the falls before continuing to your camp where you will spend the night.
Enjoy a traditional Khmu dinner prepared by the village cook and porters. After dinner, your guide will take you on a short (around 30min) night walk nearby the camp to see insects and other small creatures of the night.
The rest of the evening will be at your leisure. Enjoy the campfire and the wild outback of Nam Et-Phou Louey. The guides may tell you Khmu folktales and stories about dragons, wildlife, and ghosts.
Overnight in bamboo huts
Trekking to the Nest – The Hanging HouseDay 7
Wake up early and before breakfast to walk up a nearby mountain to check more camera traps, bird watching, and possibly hearing the calls of the rare White-cheeked crested gibbon. After around an hour, return to the camp for breakfast.
After breakfast, you will trek from the foothills of Phou Louey Mountain across the rugged and mountainous landscape to Poung Nied and The Nests campsite. The trek is approximately 9km with a steep ascent to the top of Phou Phamai Mountain followed by a gradual descent down to Poung Nied Salt Lick and The Nests camp. The route traverses some unique forest and landscapes and trench remains from the war.
Enjoy a picnic lunch along the trail prepared by the village cook.
Continue toward the Tad Loy camp. You will arrive at The Nests camp where you will be shown to your accommodation – the hanging spherical “nest”. The rest of the afternoon is free to relax, bathe in the nearby river and enjoy nature.
Enjoy a traditional Khmu dinner prepared by the village cooking group before it gets dark. It’s important to take an early dinner so that the smell of food and fire is not strong when you visit the wildlife observation platform later this evening. Dinner is eaten at the camp and is not allowed at the observation tower.
After dinner, you will receive a short briefing by your guide about wildlife viewing at the Poung Nied Salt Lick – one of the largest salt licks in the protected area. It’s important to follow the introduced rules about the observation tower, such as no talking, no eating at the salt lick, and how to return to the camp in case you need to use the toilet.
The guides will inform you about the species of animals you may see during the spotlighting and explain the rules and expectations for spotlighting.
Spot the wildlife at the observation tower until not later than 11:30 pm. An overnight sleeping is not allowed in order to reduce any negative impacts and disturbances to wildlife.
The most common animals that you might spot include Sambar and Barking deer and various species of civets, although, if lucky, you may see also other rare animals such as bears, dhole, several species of wild cats, and others.
Please wear warm clothes as it can be quite cold in the late evening/night time.
Overnight in The Nests
Continue Trek to Muang HiamDay 8
Before breakfast, your guide will walk you back to the salt lick to identify wildlife tracks. Spend approximately one hour on the observation platform to see birds and enjoy the awakening of a new day. Your guide will also show you the camera traps, and you can help to change the memory cards.
Once back at the camp, enjoy breakfast and help your guide sort through the photos of wildlife taken by the camera traps during the previous night.
Twelve surrounding villages involved in this project receive monetary bonuses in the form of village development funds based on the number and type of wildlife spotted at night and captured by the camera trap.
Your final day of trekking takes you along a 7 km forest path built and maintained by the village. This trail passes through thick jungle and mixed deciduous forests. The local guide will show you medicinal plants and identify animal tracks along the way.
The trek has a couple of moderate ascents before descending into agriculture fields. At the edge of the forest and fields, enjoy a picnic lunch inside the farmer’s hut. From here another tok tok will pick you up and take you through the village rice and corn fields for about 7km to Ban Nam Poung Village, an ethnic Khmu Village, situated on the edge of the national protected area core zone boundary.
Upon arrival at the village, your village guides will bid you goodbye and you will be transferred to Muang Hiem by private truck or van.
Arrive in Muang Hiem and check into your simple guesthouse in town. Take some rest or walk a bit out of town to visit the hot spring, which is very famous among locals.
Overnight in Muang Hiem
Muang Hiam – Xieng KhuangDay 9
After breakfast, continue driving about 3 hours to Xieng Khouang, a town that has been totally rebuilt after being destroyed during the secret war in Laos. The town is now located 30 km away from where it was originally. Today, Xieng Khouang, locally called “Phonsavan” is the gateway to the Plain of Jars.
Along the way enjoy the beautiful scenery and see local village life.
Arrive Xieng Khouang around midday and check into your hotel.
Head out to explore the Plain of Jars site 1, which is the biggest and closest to town. The Plain of Jars is a megalithic archaeological landscape in Laos. It consists of thousands of stone jars scattered around the upland valleys and the lower foothills of the central plain of the Xiangkhoang Plateau. The jars are arranged in clusters ranging in number from one to several hundred.
If time permits, you can visit the MAG Center in the town. MAG is a humanitarian organization clearing the remnants of conflict for the benefit of local communities worldwide. Lao PDR is the most heavily bombed nation in the world (per capita).
Overnight in Xieng Khouang
Xieng Khuang – Muang Khoun – PaksanDay 10
Depart Xieng Khoang for a three-hour drive to Muang Khoun, one place in the old provincial capital that was not been destroyed by the American bombings during the secret war.
Upon arrival in Muang Khoun, you will visit a unique sitting giant Buddha as well of some old pagodas that lie in ruins. The foundation and columns of Wat Pia Wat are still standing and close to this site, there is also an old 30m stupa constructed in the Lan Xang/Lanna period.
Continue your journey south to Paksan via Thathom and Nam Cap This road is also not explored by the tourist, and you mostly see the local people.
We arrive in Paksan late afternoon and check into a local mini-hotel. The rest of the day will be at your leisure.
Overnight in Paksan
Paksan - Konglor CavesDay 11
After breakfast, continue driving further south along route 13. This first leg of the journey takes around 3 hours and it is interesting to have a quick stop at Wat Prabath Phonsane (‘Temple of the footprint of Buddha’). You will then 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 rice paddies.
Late morning you will arrive at Ban Kong Lor where you will explore 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
Ban Konglor – Ban ThalangDay 12
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
Thalang - ThakhekDay 13
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
Thakhek – Savannakhet – PakseDay 14
After breakfast, your guide will meet for a two-hour drive to Savannakhet. Before entering this city you will make a stop at 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.
Continue into Savannakhet city, 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. Take a short tour of the architectural highlights, which include various French villas and the striking St. Teresa Catholic Church.
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
Pakse – Wat Phou – Ban Khiet NgongDay 15
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
Ban Khiet Ngong – Khone Phaphaeng – Khone IslandDay 16
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
4000 Islands Exploration – Khong Island – Bolaven PlateauDay 17
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
Jeep Tour through the Hidden Trail in PaksongDay 18
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
Bolaven Plateau – Pakse – DepartureDay 19
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.
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This tour is built upon our firsthand knowledge & experience, offering you the best choices available. The price of this trip varies depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and availability of ground services. Please click on REQUEST A FREE QUOTE (above) and supply the required information, enabling us to send you your personalized quote within 24 hours!
Note: Amendments CAN be made to this tour to suite your requirements.
- Visit various temple and museum in 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
- The holy Baci Ceremony and the authentic dinner with the local family
- Cruising along the lazy Nam Ou River and Mekong River, experiencing the authentic lives, and its untouched nature along the way
- Trekking through the village’s rice, tobacco, and cornfields learning along the way about upland rice cultivation and rural livelihoods in an ethnic Khmu Village
- Discovery Tad Loy waterfall and camp around the area
- Trekking from the foothills of Phou Louey Mountain across the rugged and mountainous landscape to Poung Nied and The Nests campsite
- Explore Plain of Jars under the history of the stone Jars which dated back to about 2000 years ago
- Explore the ruin of mysterious temple of Wat Phou to learn about the history of southern Laos
- 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
- Jeep tour to coffee village and overnight at lovely Tad Lo Lodge
- 18 hotel buffet breakfasts.
- 3 dinners and 16 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.
How to Plan a successful Trip to Laos, Step-by-Step
Why to Visit Laos
Where to Go
When to Go
Obtain a Laos Visa
How to book a tour
Packing and Luggage Allowance
Why to Visit Laos
The sleeping beauty of Southeast Asia, the Republic of Laos has been isolated for decades and therefore tourism is still very much in its infancy here. Time seems to slow down in Laos, as even in the capital city, Vientiane, the pace of life is refreshingly unhurried. The government is instigating a green approach to its development, with the intention of keeping Laos’ pristine ecological system as natural as possible. This makes Laos a dream destination for nature and wildlife lovers, who are seeking for the true meaning of getting away from it all.
Besides being a land where no one is in a hurry, Laos is also a land of Buddhist traditions where you will find saffron-robed teens peek curiously out from wats (temples). And while earning the title of being the world’s most heavily bombed country hardly seems like a ringing endorsement, a visit to Luang Prabang’s World Heritage temples soothes the soul. Explore Vientiane, the world’s smallest capital, as it moves at the same serene pace as the Mekong river floating by its shores.
Where to Go
Most popular sites of Laos
• Luang Prabang – a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995, best known for its high concentration of Buddhist temples and serene location on the banks of Mekong
• The Mekong River – runs from the north-west to the most southern tip of Laos, forming a natural border with Thailand; cruising on the river provides a great opportunity to see some of the more remote areas of the country which are often inaccessible by road
• Plain of Jars – see the dotted landscape of Laos with hundreds of mysterious and centuries-old stone jars
When to Go
The best time to visit Laos is between November and March. During this time the country experiences the least amount of rainfall without becoming too hot.
Laos has two distinct seasons – wet and dry.
The dry season runs from November to April. November to February is cooler while March and April are blisteringly hot, with April being the hottest month.
The wet season runs from May to October, though it may start a little early in a couple of Laos’ Northern provinces. August is the wettest month.
Obtain a Laos Visa
Visas can be obtained prior to arrival from Lao embassies and consulates abroad, through a tour company recognized by the Lao PDR, or on arrival at the international checkpoint.
Visas must be used within three months of being issued, but the validity of the visa starts from the day of entry into Laos. Tourist & business visas last for 30 days, and can be extended twice for 30 days each time, ideally through travel agencies.
The Lao criteria for visa photos are 5 cm high x 4 cm wide (but half a centimeter off within these sizes is acceptable), on a plain or light-colored background eg white or light cream. FYI, for those wishing to obtain a Lao passport, the passport photo criteria is the same as above, but the size is 6 cm high x 4 cm wide.
Notes: On entering Laos, ensure that you receive an entry stamp in your passport, as the fine for not having one is high.
Visa on Arrival (VOA)
Where to get a VOA
- Wattay International Airport in Vientiane
- Luang Prabang International Airport in Luang Prabang
- Pakse Internatioanl Airport in Champasack
- Savannakhet International Airport in Savannakhet
China – Laos
- Mohan, Yunnan – Botene, Luang Namtha
Thailand – Laos
- Chiangkhong, Chiang Rai – Houixay, Bokeo
- Nakaxeng, Loei – Kaenthao, Sayabouly
- Houi Koln, Nan – Nam Ngeun, Sayabouly
- Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge I, Nongkhay – Vientiane
- Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge II, Moukdahan – Savannakhet
- Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge III, Nakorn Phanom – Khammouane
- Chongmek, Ubol Ratchathani – Vangtao, Champasack
Vietnam – Laos
- Nameo, Thanh Hoa – Banleui, Huaphanh
- Namkan, Nge An – Namkan, Xieng Khouang
- Keoneua, Ha Tinh – Nampao (Lak Sao), Bolikhamxay
- Laobao, Quang Tri – Dansavanh, Savannakhet
Cambodia – Laos
- Dong Calor, Cambodia – Veun Kham, Champasack
Unfortunately, citizens of the following countries are ineligible for a VOA and will have to apply at their nearest Lao embassy/consulate, unless they are on official visits and hold a guarantee from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR:
Middle East – Turkey, Syria
South Asia – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Africa – Algeria, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Jordan, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Swaziland, Tonga, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Pacific – Nauru
How to book a tour
Booking your holiday with Indochina Pioneer cannot be easier! Follow our 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Browse our website www.indochinapioneer.com for tours, cruises and other destination information.
Should you find something that matches your interest, fill in the REQUEST A FREE QUOTE forms. Can’t find something that fits your needs? Then fill the BUILD YOUR OWN TRIP or CONTACT US form and click SUBMIT.
Then sit back! One of our travel experts will get back to you shortly with our customized package and most favorable offer!
In a hurry? Don’t like filling forms? Then call +84 982 116 630 (Mr. Lam) or +84 983 145 799 (Mr. Quyen). We’re available 24/7 and would be more than happy to talk! Certainly, your request will be carefully noted and a nicely crafted package with a pleasant price will follow!
Step 2: Reviewing/ Customizing our offer!
It’s your holiday so everything should be exactly what you want! We encourage your careful review of what we offer, letting us know what changes you would like to make. We’ll be more than happy to fine-tune the tour to fit best your interests, budget and time! This step may require several emails/call exchanges until perfect!
Step 3: Confirming/Paying/ Packing for the trip!
Once you’re satisfied with the customized tour, please let us know and Indochina Pioneer will need a few working hours to place reservations for all of the tour services. As soon as the availability and reservations of the services are confirmed, we will request a deposit. Please refer our Payment Guide for more details.
Once your deposit is received by Indochina Pioneer, we will send you the service voucher which confirms all the services of the tour and provides ground contact details and a guide for the final payment schedule.
And then you start counting down the day for your most fabulous trip!
Booking Amendment & Cancellations:
Booking Amendment: Flexibility is our strongest point. You can amend your booking even after it is made. Just contact your salesperson or contact us at email@example.com with your booking number. Our reservations team is glad to amend your booking with your preferable alternatives. Please kindly note that you will be responsible for any change of the final price caused by your amendment requests.
Travel smart with Indochina Pioneer!
Packing and Luggage Allowance
Packing Checklist – Be sure to check them all 😉
- Travel documents (passport, visas, travel insurance certificate, air tickets, tour voucher)
- Money (cash, credit card, debit card, traveler’s cheques and money pouch)
- Day pack for your personal needs during the day
- Camera and extra memory cards and batteries
- Cell phone and cell phone charger
- Laptop charger (if you are bringing your laptop)
- Travel plug/international adapter
- Medication (including a doctor’s letter if you are carrying a large amount of medication)
- Prescription glasses / contacts and if necessary, contact lens solution
Best to bring along
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Refillable water bottle with filter
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Comfortable clothing, either light or heavy options, depending on the season you are travelling
- Clothes suitable for visiting temples (long pants / skirts, long sleeved tops)
- Waterproof jacket / raincoat / umbrella
- Hat & sunglasses
- Bathing suit
- Ear plugs & eye mask
- Sleep sheet for home stays / trains
- Lightweight travel towel
- Local language phrasebook
Reviews on Our Service
We are committed to giving our customers unforgettable experiences in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and beyond, not just something staged for tourists. Read reviews written by our customers about their experiences in Indochina after they have returned home. These include the ratings and comments on attractions, guides, activities, hotels and food.
We had a wonderful 7-day trip last July; Kata was awesome to work with. So professional, reliable and helpful!
"Lifetime of Memories"
Lam did an amazing job putting together an itinerary based on phone/text conversations. We told him the where and what and he did the rest. The accommodations were beyond expectation, the guides were unbelievably friendly, and the places we were taken were spectacular. Having guides and drivers is worth every penny. So much time and money would have been wasted had we tried to accomplish this ourselves.
We got to experience so much more because of our guides local knowledge. Lastly, how great it was not to worry about how we were getting to the next adventure. Had we not used Indochina Pioneer I truly believe I wouldn’t have as many astonishing memories.
"Amazing 30 Day Journey with Indochina Pioneer"
If you are looking for a private tour of SE Asia, look no further than Indochina Pioneer. I recently returned from a 30-day private tour of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand all arranged by Indochina Pioneer and could not have been happier with everything they arranged for me. They are top-notch from working directly with you on planning your trip, arranging visas, having individuals at the airports to meet and walk you through everything when entering the countries, having amazing tour guides and drivers as well as organizing everything for you on the ground and being there to help you all along the way if you have any questions or problems. My tour was amazing with not only the normal tourist sights, but many off the beaten track sights and with your own guides, you learn so much more from these individuals who actually live in the places you will visit. I can’t recommend this tour agency enough. If you are looking to travel to any of the locations Indochina Pioneer has tours, you must book through them, you will not be disappointed.
"Excellent from the very beginning"
We had 21 days on a private tour and every detail was perfectly arranged. Perhaps, the Spanish speaking skills of guides can ve improved, but overall they were very helpful and committed with their job. I want to highlight the performance of Juan (Hanoi), Miguel (Hoi An), Chao (Ho Chi Minh City) and La (Luang Prabang, Laos).
Hotels were as we asked and the timing for the visits was very good.
I recommend this travel agency!