- Active Adventure
- Animals & Wildlife
- Culture & Heritage
- Home Stay
- Learning Discovery
- Nature & Landscapes
- Off The Beaten Path
- Solo Travelers
- Tours for Couples
- 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.
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 – 1/2 Day Heritage Tour & Kuang Si WaterfallDay 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 SouneDay 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 HiemDay 5
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
Muang Hiem – Nam Et-Phou Louey National ParkDay 6
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).
Morning Gibbon calls & Birdwatching – Muang HiemDay 7
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
Muang Hiem – Xieng Khouang – PhonsavanhDay 8
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
Discover the Plain Of JarsDay 9
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
Phonsavanh – Vang ViengDay 10
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
Vang Vieng – Kayaking & CavingDay 11
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
Vang Vieng – Fullday Trip to Elephant SanctuaryDay 12
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
Vang Vieng – VientianeDay 13
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
Vientiane – Fullday City TourDay 14
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
Vientiane – Phou KhaokhuayDay 15
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
Phou Khaokhay – PaksanDay 16
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
Paksan – Nam Sanam Waterfall – Sainamhai ResortDay 17
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
Sainamhai Resort – Ban KonglorDay 18
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
Ban Konglor – Ban ThalangDay 19
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
Ban Thalang – Buddha Caves – ThakhekDay 20
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 – Xe BangfaiDay 21
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
Xe Bangfai Cave – Campsite (Kayaking)Day 22
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
Xe Bangfa – ThakhekDay 23
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
Thakhek – Savannakhet – PakseDay 24
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
Pakse – Wat Phou – Ban Khiet NgongDay 25
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 26
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 27
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 28
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 29
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.
Inquire this trip
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.
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 protected] 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 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!