Laos holiday, Luang Prabang and the Plain of Jars

“A week of Laos loveliness, travelling in a small group around some of the most sublime cultural sites of SE Asia. And all focusing on local people, transport and food. Laos is all about local. ”

Highlights

Luang Prabang | Boat trip on Mekong River | Pak Ou Caves | Lao arts and handicrafts | Kuang Si waterfalls | Phonsavan | Plain of Jars | Hmong village of Ban Son Boom | Vientiane

Description of Laos holiday, Luang Prabang and the Plain of Jars

Our 1 week highlights of Laos tour includes the World Heritage Sites of Luang Prabang, nestled in the mountains aside the Mekong with its well-preserved French colonial architecture and magnificent ancient temples plus the remote and enigmatic Plain of Jars.

We’ll begin in Luang Prabang where we explore some of the town’s sites and winding lanes as well as the colourful local markets and picturesque surrounding countryside including the Pak Ou Cave Temples and Kuang Si Waterfall. From here we’ll travel through the mountains, past traditional minority villages, to the far northeast and the mysterious and picturesque Plain of Jars before taking a short domestic flight to the laid-back modern day capital of Vientiane. A tour of some of the city’s famous and more unusual sites completes our tour.

This itinerary is designed either as a short, stand-alone tour or in combination with neighbouring Vietnam or Cambodia. Regional flights from Vientiane International Airport can whisk you to Hanoi or Phnom Penh while you can also fly to Bangkok to round off your tour with a few days quality ‘R and R’ on a tropical island in the Gulf of Thailand.

A great and varied introduction to this remote and little-known country.


Features:

1. Explore the ancient temples, colonial architecture, narrow lanes and bustling markets of World Heritage Luang Prabang
2. Discover the serene landscapes, traditional villages and picturesque Kuang Si Falls near Luang Prabang
3. Travel by boat to the spectacular, ancient cave temples at scenic Pak Ou on the banks of the Mekong River
4. The Plain of Jars; visit the enigmatic and now UNESCO-listed archaeological site in remote Northeastern Laos
5. Tour the modern, riverside capital of Laos, Vientiane, with it's colourful markets, picturesque temples and waterside cafes
6. Last but not least, sample the justifiably renowned local Lao cuisine in restaurants, street stalls and local markets

Optional extensions

1. Fly from Vientiane to Hanoi for our extension to World Heritage Halong Bay
2. Beach extension to jungle-covered Koh Chang, Thailand
3. Stop off for a 2-day guided exploration of Thailand’s vibrant capital, Bangkok

Note groups sizes are 2 to maximum 12 persons with most meals (local-style) included and accommodation in boutique-style 3* hotels.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
24 Dec 2020
£875
including domestic flights only
Available
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26 Jan 2021
£875
including domestic flights only
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23 Feb 2021
£875
including domestic flights only
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16 Apr 2021
£850
including domestic flights only
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17 May 2021
£825
including domestic flights only
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19 Jun 2021
£825
including domestic flights only
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19 Jul 2021
£825
including domestic flights only
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17 Aug 2021
£850
including domestic flights only
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18 Sep 2021
£825
including domestic flights only
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18 Oct 2021
£850
including domestic flights only
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14 Nov 2021
£875
including domestic flights only
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20 Dec 2021
£875
including domestic flights only
Available
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Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type
This is a genuine small group adventure tour with group sizes limited to a maximum of 12 persons. Experience has taught us that smaller numbers are less intrusive to local cultures and environments whilst allowing more interaction with local people. Furthermore, it means greater flexibility on a day to day basis and on a social level has proved to be more fun as you make new friends and share your experiences with like-minded people.

Minimum numbers are either 2 or 4 so, while in low season in particular, sizes can be small, there will be plenty of opportunities to meet both locals and other travellers along the way.

The tour price is based upon 2 persons sharing, twin or double rooms, while single room supplements are also available should you prefer. The intention is to travel as a group of friends rather than a typical tour group, so don't expect stick-on name badges or any following the umbrella. Please note that all activities are fully flexible and most age and fitness levels can be accommodated.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Whilst on this tour we visit the Mines Advisory Group (MAG). Laos is the most bombed country in the world per capita, with more than 270 million cluster submunitions dropped on it during the Vietnam War from 1963 to 1974 and we will learn about the valuable work of this group.

In Vientiane we will visit the excellent COPE exhibition centre, highlighting a major problem many of the local people face daily in the form of unexploded ordnance.

Information: Providing suitable, relevant information for our customers; to help them to gain a wider understanding of our style of tourism that focuses on learning, genuine interaction with the local communities, reciprocity and cultural exchange processes. To be aware of the potential impact of tourism on the local society, culture and environment, and to behave and dress appropriately with a respect and appreciation for local customs, mores and traditions and a respect for the ecology of areas visited. Our guides and leaders thus facilitate communication of our values to both travellers and local communities, educating them in sustainable tourism practices

Group sizes: By limiting groups to small sizes we aim to reduce the impact on both local communities and the environment whilst allowing for greater genuine interaction with said communities. It also results in a higher guide/customer ratio thus greater facility for supervision and individual assistance and allows us to use smaller hotels and restaurants and employ the services of more genuinely ‘local’ operators perhaps not otherwise well equipped for larger groups.

Destinations: We combine the well known tourist sites with many off-the-beaten-track, rarely visited destinations thus diverting tourist revenue and contact with responsible tourism into areas not usually benefiting as well as providing a more authentic view of the region visited.

Instruction: By explaining our methods and the reasons behind them local agents, guides and hotels are encouraged by us to adopt further responsible tourism practices themselves and guides and drivers are provided with additional training in this respect.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

This trip benefits and strengthens the local communities through capacity and confidence building so that they have total control over tourism development in their area. We provide community information to tourists, to help them to gain a wider understanding of this type of tourism that focuses on learning and a cultural exchange process and we inform our travelers how to behave appropriately with an appreciation for local customs and regulations. We also buy and use local products and services in order to support and stimulate the local economy.

We use local public transport where possible to minimise demand for special tourist vehicles and fuel. We choose small-scale locally owned accommodation and homestays where available and local restaurants and markets for dining, retaining revenue in local communities. Our tour leaders facilitate communication of our values to travellers and local communities, educating them in sustainable tourism practices. We employ local guides to aid travellers' understanding of local culture and etiquette. Our small group size allows travellers to experience cultures at first hand, offering greater opportunity for cross- cultural understanding.

Local products: As much as possible we aim to employ local personnel, (guides, drivers, agents etc), use local restaurants and smaller privately owned accommodation. Customers are also encouraged to buy and use local products and services as much as possible in order to support and stimulate the local economy.

Climate

3 Reviews of Laos holiday, Luang Prabang and the Plain of Jars

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 18 Feb 2020 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Luang Prabang, such a relaxing place to visit.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The journey from Luang Prabang to the Plain of Jars is fascinating and scenic but not for anyone
who suffers from motion sickness!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I think so , certainly our guides and hotels were all locally owned.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A wonderful holiday. Luang Prabang was relaxing ,the activities offered allowed free time when you could do as little or as much as you wanted. We had an extra day here and this gave us an opportunity to explore on our own The Botanical gardens are worth a visit. The Plain of Jars was more remote and interesting. Lots of sightseeing in Vientiane but despite being the capital city was not too busy

Reviewed on 23 Feb 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The Plain of Jars was fascinating and beautiful - it was one of the main reasons that I wanted to go to Laos. Too many tour companies to this country don't include it. It is difficult to get to, but well worth it. It was also such a pleasure to have breakfast each morning in Luang Prabang sitting outside overlooking the Mekong. I think it was extremely beneficial and informative to include the visits to the organization that helps in locating and removing the unexploded ordnances still left in the country, and to the COPE center, which helps victims from such.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The itinerary didn't always go exactly as stated, and transfers were an issue when having to book flights on your own. There were also members coming and going at different times, which affected the cohesiveness of the group.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We stayed in locally owned and operated hotels, used restaurants owned and operated by the local people, and used only local guides, so yes, it definitely benefited the local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Overall this trip was very good and went well.

Reviewed on 25 Sep 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


All of it !!! Amazing place. Think though that the LUANG PRABANG part was really special. The last 3days in city was ok but
we missed being in LUANG PRABANG. So peaceful and beautiful.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Maybe to travel light. I took clothes that I never wore. Far too many.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes and they were really beautiful people who wanted to help and did help us.
Supported conservation.
I would hate for LUANG PRABANG to be spoilt by tourism.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Cannot say how much we enjoyed the holiday .... We were looked after all the way. Flights and shuttles/ guides/mini bus driver
etc were all so stress free and well organised.
Well done to all your team who have been amazing and really made our holiday one to remember for a very long time.
A VERY BIG THANK YOU FROM TRICIA AND MYSELF.

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