Build Your Own Trip

Overview

  • Day 1: Luang Prabang – Arrival
  • Day 2: Luang Prabang – City Tour
  • Day 3: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Caves
  • Day 4: Luang Prabang – Drive to Xieng Khoang
  • Day 5: Xieng Khoang – The Plain of Jars
  • Day 6: Xieng Khoang – Drive to Vientiane
  • Day 7: Vientiane – City Tour
  • Day 8: Vientiane – Flight to Pakse – Drive to Tadlo
  • Day 9: Tadlo - Drive to Dong Khong Island (B, L)
  • Day 10: Pakse – Flight to Vientiane – Departure

Full Itinerary

[*Notes]

- 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.

Luang Prabang – Arrival

Your private tour guide will meet you at Luang Prabang’s airport when you arrive for your holiday to Laos, and will escort you by private car to your selected hotel in Luang Prabang (travel time approximately 45 minutes). Your knowledgeable guide will be happy to answer any questions about your itinerary for your Indochina vacation along the way, and will assist you with check-in and registration at the hotel.

After checking in, the rest of the day is at your own leisure to explore this beautiful city. Lunch and dinner will be on your own, but your guide will recommend excellent options for your preferred cuisine – we highly recommend trying Vietnamese cuisine for a true immersion experience.

Overnight in Luang Prabang



Luang Prabang – City Tour

Morning 
After breakfast, your holiday trip in Laos starts with a visit of Luang Prabang’s highlights. Your private tour guide will pick you up and take you on a fabulous City tour. Below are the recommended sites, but of course, your guide will be happy to modify the list based on your preferences.
Visits:
– The oldest temple of Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its low sweeping roofs which represent classic Laotian architecture.
– The impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham, Wat Mai
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant to enjoy some of the most delightful cuisine.

Afternoon
After lunch, your tour continues.
Visits:
– Local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups
– The beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you can cool off with refreshing swim in the turquoise pools or walk along the forest trails
– At the end of the tour, you will return to the city where you could climb to the top of Mount Phousi for an exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic view of the city and the Mekong River at sunset.
The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure. Dinner will be on your own.

Overnight in Luang Prabang
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_)



Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Caves

Morning 
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you to the National Museum (closed Tuesdays) at the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of artifacts, which reflect the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through to the last sovereign.
You will then embark on a cruise up the Mekong River to explore the mysterious caves of Pak Ou. These two caves are linked and are crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by devoted pilgrims during the ‘Secret War’.
Along the way, you will visit the village of Ban Xanghai, where they make the local rice wine. Drive back to town with a stop en route to visit the traditional villages of Ban Xienglek and Ban Xangkong where you will see jute paper making and weaving textiles being made by hand.
The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure. Dinner will be on your own.

Overnight in Luang Prabang
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_)



Luang Prabang – Drive to Xieng Khoang

Morning
After breakfast and check out, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you with your entire luggage for a 06 hour drive to Phonsavan, Xieng Khoang, an area once devastated by American bombings between 1964 and 1973. This morning you will have the opportunity to enjoy one of the most scenic drives which is a great way to explore the real Laos. You might make some stops en route for great photo opportunities, relax and stretch our legs

Afternoon,
You will arrive in Xieng Khoang in the afternoon and check-in to the hotel. This afternoon there will be time to see the old capital of Muang Khoune and its’ nearby villages.
The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure. Lunch and dinner will be on your own.

Overnight in Xieng Khoang
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Xieng Khoang – The Plain of Jars

Morning
After breakfast and check out, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you out of town to visit the Plain of Jars, an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are littered all over the plateau.
You will also visit the hot springs and Tham Piew cave – a historical shrine where hundreds of local people hid during the bombings of the Indo-China War.

Afternoon
You will end up your day by visiting the local villages, home to the Hmong hill tribe and Tai Dam people. Here you will meet and interact with the locals who have a diverse culture and interesting history. You will be driven back to Phonsavan by late afternoon
After checking in to your hotel, the rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure. Lunch and dinner will be on your own.

Overnight in Xieng Khoang
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Xieng Khoang – Drive to Vientiane

Morning
After breakfast, you will leave the charming Xieng Khoang and wind your way in a private car to the Laos’ capital, Vientiane. Located on the banks of the Mekong River, Vientiane is a fascinating capital, with an interesting mix of Laos, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, Soviet and American influences. On the way, you will visit the Cave of Tham Jang which has now been made famous due to its use in the early 19th century: defense against the Chinese invaders.

Afternoon
You will arrive into Vientiane in the afternoon and check into our hotel room. After a short rest, you will commence an orientation walk of this relaxed and easy going city is a pleasant way to spend the afternoon. The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure. Dinner will be on your own.

Overnight in Vientiane
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_)


Vientiane – City Tour

Morning
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you to a fantastic City tour of Vientiane. Below are the recommended sites, but of course, your guide will be happy to modify the list based on your preferences.
Visits:
– The oldest Wat Sisaket, the temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statues
– The former royal temple of Wat Prakeo previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image
On the way to the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, you will stop to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure. Lunch and dinner will be on your own.

Overnight in Vientiane
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Vientiane – Flight to Pakse – Drive to Tadlo

Morning
After breakfast and check out, next on your Cambodia travel itinerary, you will be transferred to the airport to catch a short flight to Pakse.  On arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to Tadlo. On the way you will pass many lush plantations, rolling hills, forests and villages. Part of the pleasure of travelling in this region is observing the beautiful countryside and meeting the local people.
You will stop at some of the nearby villages, home of the Kato hill tribe people. These people are very friendly and welcome you with waving hands and smiling faces. It is fantastic to see they still retain their age old cultural traditions and are recognizably distinct from each other by their dress?
You will continue to drive through the Paksong and Boloven Plateau. The Boloven Plateau is known for its cooler temperature due to its location high above the Mekong Valley. Rivers run off this plateau in all directions and then plunge into lush forests in a series of spectacular waterfalls.
You will arrive in Tadlo and check into the hotel.
After checking in your hotel, the rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure. Dinner will be on your own.

Overnight in Tadlo
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_)

Tadlo - Drive to Dong Khong Island (B, L)

Depart Tadlo we drive back to Paske and from here we enjoy a leisurely trip to the former royal capital of Champasak to the ruins of Wat Phou – one of Southeast Asia’s most dramatically situated temples. We also visit Wat Phu, one of the Lao World Heritage sites recognized by UNESCO in 2001. This wonderful archeological site of Khmer civilization dates back to the 9th century, predating the famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia. We then continue our journey by traditional motorboat to Dong Khong Island, the largest island in the South Mekong river region known as the 4000 islands. This region is one of the most scenic areas in Laos.

Overnight Dong Khong Island



Pakse – Flight to Vientiane – Departure

Morning
After breakfast, you will board your traditional wooden boat back to the pier and from here your private driver will pick you and up and take you to the Pakse airport for a take short flight back to Vientiane.
From Vientiane, you will transfer to your departure flight home.

Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Useful Information

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 the 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.

What’s Included?

  • Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
  • Private Vehicles and Drivers
  • Private English Speaking Guides (Other languages if available, upon request)
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)

  • Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
  • Service Charge & Government Taxes

What’s Not Included?

  • Your International Flights to and from Laos
  • Laos entry Visa Fees (contact us for further information)
  • Personal Expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
  • Any bank fees or charges at your end

  • Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personal Travel Insurance
  • Tips for guides and drivers

How to Plan a successful Trip to Laos, Step-by-Step

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.

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

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.

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
International Airports

  • Wattay International Airport in Vientiane
  • Luang Prabang International Airport in Luang Prabang
  • Pakse Internatioanl Airport in Champasack
  • Savannakhet International Airport in Savannakhet

Border Checkpoints

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

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 sales@indochinapioneer.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 Checklist – Be sure to check them all 😉

Essentials

  • 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
  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Refillable water bottle with filter

 

Wardrobe

  • 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

 

Optional comforts

  • Ear plugs & eye mask
  • Sleep sheet for home stays / trains
  • Lightweight travel towel
  • Local language phrasebook

Client reviews

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.

Excellent 98%
Very good 2%
Average 0%
Poor 0%
Terrible 0%
goodtravel
fort lee, nj

"Fantastic 17 days in Vietnam and Cambodia"

The best thing about Duong Dai Lam (Lam) from Indochina Pioneer is that he listens. We are interested in history, architecture and food, and really appreciate good views.
Our trip provided these things and more:
– In every city we had gorgeous hotels with fabulous views, with a number of upgrades. Hotels appreciated Indochina Pioneer business.
– Halong Bay cruise was one of the highlights – small, comfortable boat with great food and most incredible landscapes. How did they get such a good chef for a 10 cabin boat?
– Lam suggested many off the beaten track attractions that helped us to understand and appreciate the country.
– Our tour guides in every place were knowledgeable about history and architecture, forthcoming with cultural and lifestyle information
– They were very flexible both in planning, and trip changes when the weather did not cooperate. For example – we don’t ride bicycles, so we ended up doing one day tour on the back of 2 scooters. Fun!!!
– Street food tour with Luu in Hanoi was fun, delicious and educational. We kept eating on the street throughout the trip. No food poisoning, just delicious food.
– Private cars were medium size SUVs immaculately maintained and drivers were safe.

I infrequently gush – see my other reviews. But this was one of our best trips, and the private tour ended up costing less than a comparable group tour booked from US.

Feb 13, 2016
Trip Advisor
baaccook
Australia, Brisbane

"First trip to Vietnam"

As this was our first trip to Vietnam we decided to us Indochina Pioneer-and Mr Lam provided us with a 17 day itinerary. Thank you for arranging a most relaxing holiday, and we enjoyed every minute with our guides, Mr Dong (Hanoi), Mr Thoung and driver Mr Hai (Hoi An-Hue) Mrs Yen from Ho Chi Minh City and Mr Tom from the Dragon Peal No 1. Their warmth, friendliness and good humour has made our trip most memorable. The guides all did an excellent job with their knowledge on places visited as well as the history of Vietnam. Our visit to Halong Bay was unfortunately very cold, but was still made enjoyable, and guests still participated in canoeing and visiting the floating fishing village. Although there were many highlights with the sounds, smells and overall busy day to day life especially in the markets, my favourite highlight was in Ho Chi Minh City with a park becoming one enormous flower market and the boats on the river covered in flowers ready to sell, all for the Tet festival. We wished we stayed a few extra nights to enjoy the Tet festivities. Yes I would definitely recommend Indochina Pioneer to anyone wishing to travel to Vietnam, and will use this company again.

Feb 19, 2016
Trip Advisor
IDakota
United Kingdom

"12 days in Myanmar"

Kata Tran has organised many holidays for me – in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. All excellent. She organised a 12 day trip to Myanmar in January 2016 with a few days each in Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle. Great guides and drivers. Lovely hotels. Terrific boat trip from Mandalay to Bagan. Day trip to old colonial Maymyo. Highly recommended. Kata always listens carefully to what you want and is very flexible.

Feb 5, 2016
Trip Advisor
fezcan
Canada, Toronto

"Indochina Pioneer – Great Tour Organizer"

I arranged a 28 day customized tour of Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand in January, 2016 the assistance of Indochina Pioneer. Lam, the principal of the company, was fabulous to deal with. He made many suggestions, booked all of our drivers and local tour guides, hotels, admission tickets, and even some restaurants. All of his choices were excellent, and when there was a need to make a last minute change, he was readily available. His tour included many extras that other tour organizers did not include, and he made sure that we visited off the beaten track places, took local tours that the big groups do not see, and that our hotels were carefully chosen to be very central and more of a local boutique nature. Lam never hesitated to make sure that our trip was going well as we travelled, and even made a point of meeting us at our stop in Hanoi and sent flowers to me on my birthday. The tour was priced very favorably compared to 3 others I contacted, and all of our guides were excellent. I would highly recommend this company and Lam in particular to anyone wanting to arrange a local tour or a detailed itinerary of Indochina.

Feb 19, 2016
Trip Advisor
John-in-Oz
Australia, Sydney

"2nd Time….just as great"

This is the second time I have used Indochina Pioneer. They excelled again. This time, we had 5 Rotarians who had completed a project in Cambodia, and needed some holiday time afterwards. We booked an 8 night Hanoi/Sapa/Halong Bay tour.
Again, the Indochina Pioneer Team performed beyond my expectations. On time, knowledgeable and flexible at all times.
We had a small problem with our van after the 5 hour drive to Sapa. By breakfast the next day, we had a new van and driver to look after us for the rest of our journey.
We got a great upgrade on the Halong Bay cruise.
I can’t commend Indochina Pioneer highly enough. If you want further details, please PM me directly, if I go again in Indochina, it will only be with Indochina Pioneer.

Feb 8, 2016
Trip Advisor