Laos tailor made holiday
Description of Laos tailor made holiday
Enjoy a two-day cruise on the Mekong River, discover the UNESCO World Heritage city of Luang Prabang, visit the mysterious Plain of Jars in Phonsavan, then explore the charming capital city of Vientiane.
See the highlights of Laos on this 9-day tour of the country's laidback cities and natural beauty. You'll start in Bangkok (Thailand) and fly up to Chiang Rai to start your cruise along the mighty Mekong in Laos, past towering granite cliffs, jungles and traditional riverside villages.
Visit the fascinating Pak Ou Caves (also known as Buddha Caves), stroll along the tree-lined boulevards of pretty Luang Prabang, then contemplate history at the intriguing Plain of Jars. Heading south, you'll explore the historical buildings and important Buddhist temples of Laos' charming capital city, Vientiane, located on the banks of the Mekong River, where you'll end your tour.
|Day 1:||Arrive in Bangkok (Thailand) - There are few flights to Laos from outside Asia, so depending where you're travelling from, you'll likely first head to Bangkok. Upon arrival at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport, you will be met by a representative and transferred to your accommodation. Your guide will meet you at your hotel in the evening to brief you about your itinerary.|
|Day 2:||Bangkok City Tour & Flight to Chiang Rai - You have an early start today. Your local guide will take you to Bangkok’s magnificent temples and palaces, including the glittering Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and Wat Pho, with its spectacular 46-metre long statue of the reclining Buddha. Transfer back to the airport in the afternoon and catch a flight to Chiang Rai in northern Thailand, located near the Golden Triangle and bordering Myanmar and Laos. You are free to explore the bustling Chiang Rai night bazaar in the evening and meet the hill tribe people and lowlanders, as they gather to sell their wares.|
|Day 3:||Mekong River Cruise - It's another early start today. Enjoy a two-hour trip to the Thai border town of Chiang Khong and cross the border by boat to Huay Xai in Laos. Your guide will help you get your Laos entry visas on arrival. Board a private boat for a two-day cruise down the Mekong River, past dense jungles and quaint villages. Spend your night in Pakbeng, a small village in Laos located on the Mekong River halfway between Huay Xai and Luang Prabang.|
|Day 4:||Mekong River Cruise, Pak Ou Caves & Luang Prabang - Continue your cruise south along the Mekong River towards Luang Prabang, stopping to explore the fascinating Pak Ou Caves, which contain hundreds of Buddha statues. Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage site and an ancient city. Wander the streets and back alleys of this ancient city to discover why so many people fall in love with this place, known for its gleaming temple roofs, fading French architecture and a stunning mountain backdrop.|
|Day 5:||Explore Luang Prabang & Kuang Si Falls - We recommend that you get up early to join the locals as they offer alms to the hundreds of saffron-robed Buddhist monks on the streets. This sacred ceremony takes place everyday and is quite spectacular. Go out on a guided walking tour of Luang Prabang next. Visit Wat Xieng Thong, with its sweeping roof and a rare, reclining Buddha statue, and Wat Wisunalat, which represents the earliest style of Laotian architecture. Hike to the top of Phu Si Hill to take in panoramic views of the city. Travel 29 kilometres outside of Luang Prabang to Kuang Si Falls, a beautiful, cascading waterfall surrounded by a lush forest.|
|Day 6:||Transfer to Phonsavan - Travel from Luang Prabang to Phonsavan, located in the remote Xieng Khuoang province in central Laos.|
|Day 7:||Explore the Plain of Jars & Fly to Vientiane - Head for the mysterious Plain of Jars, an ancient site with hundreds of large stone jars, after breakfast. The jars are carved out of sandstone and granite and come in various sizes, from very small to about 3.5 metres high. They are thought to be more than 2,000 years old. Fly to the capital city of Vientiane, located on the banks of the Mekong River, in the afternoon.|
|Day 8:||Vientiane City Tour - Explore Vientiane with your guide. Visit Wat Si Saket, the oldest surviving temple in Vientiane and home to over 10,000 Buddha images, and see the golden stupa of That Luang (the Great Sacred Stupa), the most sacred monument in the country that is now recognised as the national monument and symbol of Laos. Also see Patuxai (Victory Gate of Vientiane), a landmark reminiscent of Paris’ Arc de Triomphe and one of the city’s most noticeable landmarks. This afternoon, you’re free to explore the market of Talat Sao.|
|Day 9:||Depart from Vientiane - Check out of your accommodation after breakfast and drive to the airport for your flight home.|
PlanetAll our adventures are privately guided holidays and as such we retain a commitment to working with small group sizes. By travelling in small numbers and using expert local guides we can limit the potential for damaging ancient temples and trails.
You will visit several incredible natural environments on this itinerary, including the Plain of Jars, the Mekong River, Pak Ou Caves, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang. In our detailed pre-departure travel pack we have included a note to remind you not leave any litter around these environments – everything you carry in, you must carry out. Aside from the environmental damage, litter can be harmful to wildlife.
We aim to reduce transport emissions on this trip through boat transportation. Instead of taking a car, you’ll travel down the Mekong River in Laos on a boat for two days, cruising past beautiful jungle scenery and traditional villages.
Our UK office takes a leading role in setting the standards for an environmentally friendly work environment. We work with local government to recycle our waste and continually look for new ways to be greener, including encouraging travellers to bring reusable water bottles on their holiday.
PeopleTalk to one of our tailor-made specialists and ask us about Packing for a Purpose on your holiday to Laos. This initiative allows you to use some of your luggage space to take supplies to Pakbeng Lodge, where even the most basic supplies will help to support the great work of the associated free community health clinic. We have developed partnerships with charities and accommodations throughout Southeast Asia and are constantly working to extend our reach with the help of our travellers.
We employ local guides and support staff who we pay fair wages, often exceeding government standards which we still consider too low, and thereby remove the reliance on tipping from travellers for livelihoods.
Our accommodation choices make use of locally owned properties where possible and often include adventurous, authentic choices such as local homestays which therefore involve local people and their communities in the very fabric of our holidays.
We encourage all our travellers to research local customs and read your trip notes before you depart to ensure you are conscientious and respectful in a different culture.
In most cases we strongly recommend that you do not give money to children beggars. If begging is a successful enterprise, parents are encouraged to forsake their children’s education in pursuit of this opportunity.