Authentic Laos Travel – A Journey to the hidden land !
Travel from the ancient royal seat of Laos, through today’s laid back riverside capital of Vientiane and on to the amazing 4000 islands and waterfalls of southern Laos. This is a diverse, fully loaded-14 day city, culture, and nature lover’s tour with biking, trekking, and kayaking options throughout to keep you active as you explore Laos history, nature, and Buddhist culture.
Visit the serene temple, and national icons in Vientiane, the least developed capital city in Asia
Explore the ancient Khmer temple of Wat Phou, parts of which date back to the 5th century
Visit the feeding grounds of the critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphin and try to spot these incredible creatures
Explore the Bolaven Plateau and visit its stunning waterfalls and coffee plantations.
Cruise the mighty Mekong river to visit the mysterious Pak Ou caves
Enjoy the dip at the cool fresh Kuang Si waterfalls
Trek through farms and rice paddies to explore rural village life and learn about what it is like to live in these small villages
Experience Mekong river and explore local life ling along by kayak.
Paddle past limestone mountains and through small rapids, seeing the best of the Nam Song
Explore the Vang Vieng Loop on a mountain bike, taking in the amazing scenery, viewpoints and caves
We depart from Pakse in the morning and head towards the Bolaven Plateau. Our first stop is a small village, famous for its blacksmiths, where we can see how the local people make knives and other tools by hand. We continue our journey, driving past tea and coffee plantations until reaching the heart of the Bolaven Plateau. The plateau is home to many different ethnicities including the Laven people, that gives the plateau its name.
We stop at the amazing Tad Fan Waterfall, a twin waterfall cascading over 220 meters into a valley. We then make our way to Tad Ngoung Waterfall, which has a great spot for swimming. Here we will have lunch, relaxing in the beautiful surroundings. After lunch and relaxing in the cool waters, we visit the local market in Paksong. This is a fascinating place to look around and get an insight into the lives of the local people. From the market we make our way to Tad Pasuem Waterfall where we will visit some of the different local ethnicities that live in this area. After spending some time at the waterfall and learning about the different ethnic groups, we head to the town of Champassak where we will spend the night in a local guesthouse.
Meal: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Accommodation: Homestay in Champassak
We have an early start to the day with a visit to the ancient UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wat Phou. We spend some time exploring this fascinating ancient site before returning back to our guesthouse for breakfast. After breakfast we drive to a small village, where we will start our short hike through the Xe Pian National Park. After a short hike, we will have our lunch at a local restaurant, before we take a short transfer to another small village. Here we board our boat for the journey to Don Khone Island. Along the way we can see the local fishermen at work while watching the sunset, before arriving at our hotel just in time for dinner.
Trail through the forest
Meal: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Accommodation: Hotel in Champassak
After breakfast we take a leisurely bicycle ride to the old bridge built by French colonists. We then cycle along the old French railway line to the stunning Liphi Waterfall. We return for lunch to a riverside restaurant where we enjoy some delicious food, watching the river float past.
Villagers planting rice
In the mid afternoon we cycle to Don Det taking in the sights of island life along the way. From Don Det we take a boat to see different islands donxom don dompadee to see the people life are living in 4000 islands then take the boat back on sunset time to our hotel on Don Khone.
Meal: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Accommodation: Hotel in Don Khone
After breakfast we take a short boat ride to a waiting minivan, We take a short drive to Khonphapheng Waterfall, the widest in South East Asia! We take in the stunning views. Then transfer to Pakse airport for afternoon flight to Vientiane.
After breakfast, we drive out of town to the eccentric Buddha Park, built by a Lao man after studying in India, in order to teach following generations of Lao about religions around the world. Here we will discover many Buddhist and Hindu statues in traditional and modern styles. One of them is the largest Reclining Buddha in Laos.
Back to the city center, we head to the religious museums of Wat Sisaket and Ho Prakeo. Wat Sisaket is the oldest temple to have survived the Siamese War of 1828 and its cloister contains more than 8000 Buddha statues. Ho Prakeo was the former home-temple of the Emerald Buddha statue, or Pra Keo, from the early Lane Xang Kingdom until the 18th century. Today it contains a collection of Buddha statues, antiques and artifacts found in Vientiane.
Wat Sisaket Temple
We then drive to That Luang Stupa, the single most important monument in Laos. This Stupa was built to cover the original, smaller stupa containing a piece of the breast bone of Buddha. That Luang is the largest stupa in Laos and serves as the main symbolic stupa for all of Laos. It’s also our national symbol, a gathering place for our national Buddhism ceremony, and recognized throughout the world.
We then head to Patouxay, sometimes called the Arch de Triumph of Vientiane. This landmark is not as old as the other landmarks we visit but provides an interesting insight into Lao’s more recent and turbulent history. Despite its more modern history this is still an important landmark for the people of Laos and serves an important role in many national celebrations. Meal: Breakfast Accommodation: Hotel in Vientiane
After breakfast, we drive to Vang Vieng. Upon arriving Vang Vieng, enjoy cycling tour visiting local villages.
We depart Vang Vieng and cross the bridge over the Nam Song River before starting the day by cycling past rice paddies toward the first view point, an excellent place for a few pictures. After this we head off through the karst range of the Nam Song & Vang Vieng. After a short ride we have a steep hike up to Dok Ngern, the Silver Flower Cave. Explore the hidden corridors, filled with an endless array of stalagmites and stalactites!
From here the trail gets a bit rough as we cycle along the narrow valley of the Houay San stream until Pha Deng ‘red cliff’ comes into view on our right. We will stop here for a short break and to take some pictures.
We continue until we arrive in the first village, on the banks of the Nam Kouang River. Here the road heads south and runs alongside the Nam Kouang; we will follow this road until we reach one of the Blue Lagoons. We will take a break here and you will have a chance to relax, swim and take some photos. We then cycle back to Vang Vieng in time for sunset. Meal: Breakfast/Lunch Accommodation: Hotel in Vang Vieng
We depart from Vang Vieng and head north, where we visit the first cave, Tham Xang (Elephant Cave). This cave owes its name to a remarkable limestone formation, and lies on the banks of the Nam Song River.
Kids paddling on the river
The nearby Tham Hoi cave (Snail Cave) winds its way deep into the mountain. We’ll float through the cave on inflatable tubes, exploring its long corridors and wonderful limestone formations. A pool of cool spring water lies at the mouth of Tham Nam (Water Cave), giving us a great opportunity for a swim.
After a picnic lunch we will trek to a Hmong village, passing through rice paddies and vegetable gardens. We return to Vang Vieng by kayaking down the Nam Song, taking us through idyllic scenes of rural life, with limestone mountains in the background.
Meal: Breakfast/Lunch Accommodation: Hotel in Vang Vieng
After breakfast, we drive to Luang prabang (no guide).
Luang Prabang Town
Arrive Luang Prabang in early afternoon. Upon arrivial, you will start your first tour in Luang Prabang with a visit to Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts. Our next stop is Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief, which is one of the most beautiful temples in town.
In the late afternoon, we climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic sunset view of the city and the Mekong River.
Meal: Breakfast Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang
We depart Luang Prabang at 8:30AM before heading north for approximately 1.5 hours. Once we reach the village, we begin our trek through local farms before arriving at the edge of the dense jungle.
We will immerse ourselves in the beauty and diversity of the local flora and fauna. It is like venturing into another world under the canopy of huge trees where we will discover orchids, ferns, creepers and more. If we are quiet we might be able to hear the sounds of birdlife, adding to the unique atmosphere in this wonderful forest.
We will stop at a beautiful spot in the jungle for a Lao style picnic lunch. For the next one and a half hours we continue trekking through a bamboo forest before the trail starts making its way downhill to farming plots along the banks of the Nam Ou river. We cross the river on a longtail boat to reach a village on the other side where a local Tai Lue family will be our hosts for the night.
Meal: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Accommodation: Homestay at local village
After breakfast, the guide will give you an introduction to the basics of kayaking and a safety briefing. We then head off downstream along the Nam Ou and will quickly encounter the first easy rapids!
Along the way we pass majestic cliffs and villages almost untouched by modern civilization. We paddle further downstream before pausing for a delicious picnic lunch at a beautiful white sandbank amidst really amazing surroundings!
Kayaking on Nam Ou River
After lunch we have some time to relax and swim in the cool waters of the river. The afternoon is spent paddling on a calmer section of the Nam Ou before the river joins the Mekong. Along the way you have the opportunity to watch villagers fishing and harvesting river weed which is then dried and fried to become one of Luang Prabang’s most famous, and delicious dishes. We have the option to stop at the famous Pak Ou (Buddha) Cave to see the hundreds of Buddha statues.
We continue paddling down the Mekong to visit a weaving and Lao whisky making village. After a short stop here we continue for another 30 minutes downstream to Pak Xeung where our transport is waiting to pick us up and drive us back to Luang Prabang.
Meal: Breakfast/Lunch Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang
We depart from Luang Prabang by minivan and drive to an ethnic Khmu village where we will start our adventure. We start by trekking to a nearby Hmong village. You will be able to learn about the lifestyles of Khmu and Hmong people, these two culturally very different minorities and see how, despite their differences, they work together on a daily basis and even share the same school.
Kuang Si waterfall
As we continue onwards the trail leads through rice paddies and vegetable fields before reaching the mountainous forest. Along the way we explore a cave which was used as a bomb shelter by the local villagers during the second Indochina War.
After visiting the cave we continue trekking to one of the many springs which feeds Kuang Si waterfalls, where we can see a beautiful pool full of sacred fish. After descending from the top of the waterfall we enjoy a Lao style lunch amongst some beautiful settings!
A local villager
After lunch we will relax by the waterfall with plenty of time for swimming and taking pictures of the magnificent falls and the turquoise pools.
Before leaving Kuang Si Waterfalls we will pass through a rescue and refuge centre for bears saved from the illegal wildlife trade. On our way back to Luang Prabang we will also have the opportunity to visit Lao’s only buffalo dairy and try some of their buffalo cheese. We will then drive back to Luang Prabang. Arrive the hotel in late afternoon.
Treetop adventure We have been adventuring for 2 years internationally. The 3 day treetop adventure has been the highlight. Our 3 guides made the challenging experience unforgettable. Thank you so much!
Good honest service, great trekking experience We had booked and paid for a day of trekking ending at Kuang Si Waterfall, and another day of kayaking. The first day was amazing with a moderate half day walk ending up at the waterfall which was a great...read moreWe had booked and paid for a day of trekking ending at Kuang Si Waterfall, and another day of kayaking. The first day was amazing with a moderate half day walk ending up at the waterfall which was a great way to cool off and relax (and take amazing photos). Our tour guide was great, very knowledgeable and accommodating of our needs. Regrettably we had to cancel our 2nd day due to us needing to fly home ASAP because of imminent border closures for the COVID-19 pandemic. We politely asked the manager (Phai) for a refund and he was very understanding even though we knew it was a tough time for them. They couldn't refund our 2nd day on the spot but they promised to put it through on the following Monday when they went to the bank. We were pleased and grateful that they lived up to their promise to do it, so I want to say they are an honest and ethical operator. Thank you!read less
Une trek au top Nous avons opté pour indochinatreks pour notre trek de 2 jours et nous n'avons pas été déçues ! Le guide, Jai, au delà d être très sympathique, parlait extrêmement bien anglais. Ceci a permis d'avoir de véritables échange et de...read moreNous avons opté pour indochinatreks pour notre trek de 2 jours et nous n'avons pas été déçues ! Le guide, Jai, au delà d être très sympathique, parlait extrêmement bien anglais. Ceci a permis d'avoir de véritables échange et de mieux comprendre la culture laotienne, la forêt. Nous avons vraiment eu une expérience en immersion, dormir dans un village, cuisiner et manger dans la jungle. Nous sommes parties ravies de cette expérience dans la région. Merci !read less
Excellent professional and reliable tour company Just returned from 16 day Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos tour with this company. Excellent prompt attention, excellent hotes, transfers, guides. Not one slip or problem. Anna was very conscientious and always attentive an trying to answer our needs. Would recommend this company.
Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos Anna did a great job organizing our complete trip. 3 week private tour, excellent value. Three airfares included and wonderful accommodation.
Not the best, Not the worst... My wife and I booked a 3 night, 2 day Kayaking and CAMPING adventure only to find out the day of that we were not going to be camping!? Please read your contract VERY CAREFULLY and ASK ALL the appropriate...read moreMy wife and I booked a 3 night, 2 day Kayaking and CAMPING adventure only to find out the day of that we were not going to be camping!? Please read your contract VERY CAREFULLY and ASK ALL the appropriate questions before booking. Front desk clerk in LP is not the friendliest or that helpful.read less