Ho Chi Minh trail tour in Laos

“Led by an award-winning guide, this 14-day small group tour of Laos illuminates undiscovered regions, cultural sites and tribal villages. An inspirational stay with the charity Mine Advisory Group is a major highlight.”

Highlights

Vientiane city tour | Wat Sisaket | Wat Phra Keo | COPE exhibition centre | That Luang | Sin Dat (Lao BBQ) meal | Khammoune | Prabhat Ponsan Temple | Ban Kong Lor | Kong Lor Cave boat tour | Ban Thabuk (bomb boat village) | Tha Sala waterfall river cruise | Nakai Plateau | Nakai Nam Theung boat tour | Jungle camping and BBQ | Ho Chi Minh Trail | Tham Khoun Xe Cave tour | Boulapha | 4WD tour of mine clearance zone | Xepon | Ban Dong war museum | Ta Oy | Bolaven Plateau | Coffee plantation tour | Champasak | 4000 Islands | Wat Phou |

Description of Ho Chi Minh trail tour in Laos

Venture deep into under-explored Laos on a two-week itinerary that takes you down underground rivers, to remote ethnic villages, through aromatic coffee plantations and surreal flooded jungle, and along the legendary Ho Chi Minh Trail.

There will be awe-inspiring temples and stupas, treks through steamy jungle; opportunities to watch craftspeople at work in traditional industries – weaving bamboo baskets and fishing nets, harvesting bananas and tea, and unusual forms of transport from vintage US army jeeps to Lok Tok Tok tractor-trailers.

Shadows of the Vietnam War are never far away in Laos. You might be visiting the COPE exhibition centre in the capital, Vientiane; travelling on the Nam Theung river in a unique boat made from old bomb casings, or meeting a survivor of the US bombing campaign, and seeing the cave where his family sheltered for nine years. On the Ho Chi Minh Trail you’ll meet representatives of the UK charity Mine Advisory Group (MAG) and learn about their vital work clearing the land of unexploded ordinance. You’ll travel with them through beautiful landscapes still scarred by the remnants of war, hearing stories that will break your heart and lift your spirits by those who lived through them.

Expect to eat well, too. From Sin Dat, a Lao-style charcoal barbecue to homecooked village lunches using ingredients fresh from the fields, this tour is a gift to foodies.

The tour winds down with a captivating cruise through Si Phan Do, the 4000 islands of Laos’ southernmost reaches and their quiet fishing villages. Finally, finishing with a flourish, you’ll explore Wat Phou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site near Champasak, dating back to the 5th century.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Check dates

Nov 2019 tbc
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Ho Chi Minh trail tour in Laos

Environment

This Limited Edition Laos tour visits the Nakai Nam Theun National Protected Area: the second largest protected area in Laos. Spanning over 3,000,000 hectares, it is an important area of biodiversity that is home to many rare and recently discovered species of wildlife including the Saola, one of the world’s rarest large mammals, and the Indochinese warty pig previously thought to be extinct. Pressures imposed by logging interests and the threat of poachers hang over the future of Nakai Nam Theun and its resident wildlife, however the Wildlife Conservation Society are working closely with the local communities to educate and implement conservation activities. Funds generated by tourist visitors assist with the conservation efforts.

At the beginning of 2018 we launched our ‘One Bottle At A Time’ initiative to replace disposable plastic water bottles with refillable canisters across our destinations. From March 2018 in Laos, we will be providing refillable water canisters in our vehicles, meaning our travellers are not generating plastic waste through the daily use of water bottles (which on a full day of touring can be numerable). We also send our guests a wooden toothbrush to help avoid using hotels’ disposable plastic brushes, and educate clients about the limited recycling facilities in Asia, and best-practice regarding waste-reduction. Within our UK offices we operate strict recycling policies and make sure everyone in the office uses reusable crockery and cutlery.

The Selective Earth Programme with the World Land Trust. We believe that for ‘carbon offsetting’ to be effective, it needs to be implemented as part of a broader set of responsible actions, otherwise it distracts from the real impact of flying, on both the developing country and the developed country. In order to truly contribute towards a healthier planet, we believe that putting our efforts into travelling responsibly and donating towards conservation projects is a more responsible action than simply offsetting, which is why we’ve put together the Selective Earth Programme, which offers all our clients the opportunity to not only reduce their carbon footprint when flying, but also contribute towards conservation projects in Asia.
To do this, we have teamed up with World Land Trust (WLT), an international conservation charity who we believe offer a correctly priced and effective solution to reducing the carbon impact of flights, through actively conserving rainforest whilst supporting local communities. We work closely with the Trust to identify which project needs the most funding at what time, to ensure our donations are making a difference. We are currently contributing towards the conservation of the Khe Nuoc Trong forest, in Vietnam, as well as planting fruit trees in the surrounding communities, with £25,000 pledged in total.

Community

Lone Buffalo.
An inspirational community project based in Phonsavan (north-eastern Laos), Lone Buffalo is dedicated to improving opportunities for young people from rural backgrounds through free English tuition, sport and creative skills programmes. LB also operates an acclaimed football coaching programme, and has branched out into film-making, offering students fun, diverse opportunities to develop. The project was co-founded by Mark Steadman, Wanderlust Guide of the Year, who lives in Phonsavan and will lead this Limited Edition Laos tour for us!
We proudly sponsor Class 3C, and have been avidly following their development like proud parents since 2015. The students, who are in their early teens, have progressed from Beginner level through Advanced Beginner to Elementary.

Remote Minority Groups
We are of the staunch opinion that minorities aren’t tourist attractions, any more than children are. All our holidays that take place in and around minority communities are set up with the locals’ best interests at heart and we work with partners who do everything possible to ensure that the entire community benefits from our visits. This Limited Edition Laos tour visits a number of small villages, where we have been conscious of giving back to the community, either in the form of overnighting in a homestay, purchasing produce from the local market or utilising local guides and transportation.

MAG - Mine Advisory Group
This Laos small group tour offers a unique insight into a little seen area of Laos and a first of its kind partnership to travel alongside the mine advisory workers and learn more about the charity and the work done there. Since 1994 MAG has worked across the Xieng Khouang and Khammouane provinces of Laos directly helping more than 900,000 people to live safer lives, free from danger and fear, with a further 2 million benefiting indirectly. Using the funds raised they are working towards the goal of clearing every single piece of land bombed during the Vietnam war, which left Laos the most bombed country in the world per capita.
MAG assesses what difference UXO clearance will make to communities, and targets the land that will most benefit each community, working in partnership with development organisations to ensure that cleared land is used productively. All staff are employed locally, and trained and supervised by their technical experts, so that they can do the job in safety, with the intention of building a safe and skilled local capacity to deal with areas affected by UXO.

For every place sold on a successful departure of this trip, we will be making a donation of £50 to MAG International helping them continue their vital work in Laos & across Asia.

Stay local.
One of our core values is to collaborate with local, responsible companies and partners who share our focus, beliefs and passions. We work mainly with local guides, local operators and hotel partners, and will always offer small, local accommodation options to clients. Our holidays are designed to enable our clients to immerse themselves in local places and experiences, and we make sure that, wherever possible, the income they bring to a destination goes back into the community. We have developed a system that allows clients to donate any unused currency to local charities that are vetted and selected by our partners.

Local partners.
We actively choose local guides and drivers, and work only with local travel partners. We insist that any travel partners we work with adhere to our responsible travel policies, and ideally put responsible tourism at the heart of everything they do. We work collaboratively with them to ensure an ongoing exchange of information, so we can all continue to improve our work around responsible tourism.

Popular similar holidays

Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam holidays

Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam holidays

An authentic and exciting holiday in Indochina

From £3200 - £3600 4 weeks excluding flights

Indochina overland holiday

Indochina overland holiday

The ultimate discovery of South East Asia

From £3399 - £3899 30 days including UK flights

Laos tailor made holiday, culture & adventure

Laos tailor made holiday, culture & adventure

An in-depth exploration of Laos including some hidden gems

From £1995 - £2995 13 days excluding flights

Indochina holiday, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand

Indochina holiday, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand

Fast-paced Bangkok & slow boats along the Mekong

From £1259 - £1349 22 days excluding flights

Convert currencies