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Laos Culture & Adventure

Luang Prabang – Xiengkhouang – Vientiane – Pakse – Champassak – Khong – Pakse – Tadlo – Sekong – Attapeu – Pakse.
15 days/14 nights

Private tour

Daily departure from Luang Prabang with English, or French speaking guide

Day 1: Bangkok – Luang Prabang – Arrival1

- Meet upon arrival at Luang Prabang airport, transfer and check-in at the hotel. The crown jewel of Laos and former Lanexang, Luang Prabang, is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in South East Asia. Magical and charming, it has preserved its long-standing reputation as a stronghold of Lao culture with its splendid natural scenery and sense of timelessness. In 1995 UNESCO voted Luang Prabang as a World Heritage City. Visit the National Museum (former King’s Palace) displaying a collection of personal artifacts of the Royal Family
Visit Vat Visoun, the site of an impressive stupa, That Makmo, stylistically more Srilankalese than Lao. Then walk to the nearby Vat Aham, which is one of the city’s major tutelary shrines, dedicated to Deveta Luang (spirit) Pu Gneu Ya Gneu (ancestors).  Climb Vat Phousi hill for an outstanding view over the city. Continue to visit Vat Mai, built in 1796, famous for the five – tiered roof of its wooden sim built in the standard of Luang Prabang style. Sunset at Vat Prabht Tai located along the Mekong River.
- Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2: Luang Prabang Visit (B/L)

- Breakfast at the hotel.
- Morning Monk’s Procession
- Visit Vat Xieng Thong, considered as the most beautiful temple. The sim of the Vat represents the classic Luang Prabang temple architecture with roofs that sweep low to the ground. In the compound stand several small chapels housing bronze Buddha images, which were displayed in Paris in 1911. Near the East gate stands the Royal Funeral Chapel. Inside are an impressive 12-meter high funeral   chariot   and various funeral urns of each Royal Family’s member. The gilt panel on the exterior of the chapel depicts a semi-erotic episode from Ramayana.    Then board a traditional riverboat for a trip upstream the Mekong River to visit the famous caves of Pak Ou housing thousands of statues representing Lord Buddha.  Picnic lunch at a bamboo cottage overlooking the confluence between the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers.  Return to Luang Prabang by boat and continue by car to visit Ban Phanom, a weaving village populated by Thai Lu who originally came from Sipsongpanna in Southern China.
- Overnight at the hotel.
 
Day 3: Luang Prabang – XiengKhouang (B)2

- Breakfast at the hotel.
- Departure by road to Phonsavanh (Xiengkhouang ) 6-7 hours. On the way vit Hmong village minority at Bane Kiou Kacham, visit Bane NongTang  Arrival Phonesavanh in afternoon, transfer and check in at hotel. The northern province of Xieng Khouang was heavily bombed during the Vietnam War and, as soon as the plane begins to descend, one can notice how much of the province is still pockmarked with impressive bomb craters. The original capital, Xieng Khouang, was almost totally destroyed, so the capital was moved to Phonesavanh. Near Phonesavanh is the mysterious Plain of Jars, which is soon to be listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. The jars weigh mostly from 600 kg to one ton but the biggest one weighs as much as six tons. The jars have been fashioned from solid stone, most from a tertiary conglomerate known as molasses, akin to sandstone, and a few from granite.
- Overnight at the hotel..

Day 4 : XiengKhouang Fullday Tour (B)

- Breakfast at the hotel
- Drive to, and visit the Plain of Jars (site 1 which features 250 jars weighing from 600 kg to one ton and site 2 with 90 jars), a large area extending around Phonesavanh where several hundred huge jars of unknown origin are scattered about in over a dozen groupings. Several theories have been advanced as to the functions of the jars (burial urns, wine fermenters, rice storage), but there is no evidence confirming one theory over the other. However, in the 1930s, French archeologists found ashes, stone axes, bronze ornaments and ceramics, which may have been offerings to the dead. When the Plain of Jars is listed by UNESCO and cleared from remaining UXOs, further archeological investigation may bring a clue to all the unanswered questions regarding the most enigmatic site in Laos. The jars weigh mostly from 600 kg to one ton but the biggest one weighs as much as six tons. The jars have been fashioned from solid stone, most from a tertiary conglomerate known as molasses, akin to sandstone, and a few from granite.
- Continue to Muang Khoune, the former capital of Xieng Khouang Province, which was destroyed by heavy bombings and visit its ancient temples.
- Lunch free.Return to Phonesavanh .Visit some ethnic minorities’ villages (either Hmong, Phuan, Thai Neua, Thai Dam or Thai Lu).
- Overnight at the hotel.

Day 5: XiengKhouang – Vientiane (B)3

- Breakfast at the hotel.
- Visit local market in Phonesavanh.
- Visit Hmong village at Bane ThaChok (26km ) from town. Return to Hotel
- Transfer to Airport for Flight to Vientiane .
- Meet upon arrival at Vientiane Wattay airport, transfer and check-in at the hotel. Vientiane’s major attractions are the serene Buddhist monasteries that dominate the center of town. The city has kept its timeless charm with tree-lined avenues, brightly painted temples and quaint French architecture.Arrive Vientiane. Transfer  to Hotel Free time.
- Overnight at the hotel.

Day 6 : Vientiane visit (B/D)

- Breakfast at the hotel.
- Visit Vat Sisaket, the oldest original temple in Vientiane. Built in 1818, Vat Sisaket is the sole survivor of an invasion in 1828. Vat Sisaket features remarkable frescoes and 6,840 Buddha images. Nearby is Ho Phra Keo, once the royal temple of Lao monarchy. Built in 1565, Ho Phra Keo has been used as a museum since 1970 and contains some of the finest Buddhist sculptures and artifacts in the country. Special displays include antique brass drums and palm leaf manuscripts. The main structure originally housed the famous Emerald Buddha that now resides in Bangkok’s Wat Phra Keo. One of the most photographed images of Vientiane is Patousay, the victory gate also known as Anousavari. Constructed in 1958, its architecture is inspired by the Arc of Triumph in Paris. Another famous Vientiane landmark is the That Luang Stupa. King Setthathirath built this great sacred stupa in 1566. Its central structure is 45 meters tall and echoes the curving lines of an elongated lotus. The original stupa was said to contain relics of Lord Buddha.
- In the afternoon, visit the Morning Market (Talaat Sao) and nearby ethnic handicraft market. Continue to visit the weaving village of Ban Nong Boua Thong followed by a visit to Vat Si Muang.Dinner and Lao dances at Khoua Lao Restaurant .
- Overnight at the hotel.

Day 7: Vientiane – Pakse – Champassak – Khong (B)4

- Breakfast at the hotel.
- Early morning transfer to the airport for Lao Airlines flight to Pakse.
- Meet upon arrival at Pakse airport and drive   to  royal capital of Champassak,the pre-Angkorian Vat Phu Temple (6th-13th centuries). Vat Phu Temple lies on hillside and offers spectacular views on the surrounding plains and on the Mekong River. UNESCO listed Vat Phu Temple as a World Heritage site in 2002. Hindu Khmer probably chose the site because of the spring that flows from near the top of the hill. Historians say that Phu Pasak was in fact sacred to the pre-Angkorian Kingdom of Chenla (6th century) and may have been the site of human sacrifices. The temple is divided in two parts. The lower part consists of two-ruined palace buildings at the edge of a pond, which was used, for ritual ablutions. The upper section, the temple sanctuary itself, once enclosed a large Shiva phallus (linga). It was later converted into a Buddhist temple but much of the original Hindu sculpture remains. The lintels feature various forms of Vishnu and Shiva as well as Kala, the Hindu god of time and death. The naga stairway is lined with plumeria (Dokchampa), the Lao national flower.
- Continue by boat to Khong Island (2:30 hours). On the way,visit the Khmer ruin temple of Oum Moung. One more beautiful site dating of 12th century. Hidden within a forest of towering trees.and visit the traditional villages.
- Upon arrival in Khong Island, transfer and check-in at the hotel. Khong Island, blessed with lush tropical vegetation, serene monasteries and lovely fishing villages, offers a unique opportunity to experience the peaceful Lao way of life.
Overnight at the hotel.

Day 8: Khong – Fullday Tour (B)

- Breakfast at the hotel.
- Cruise along the backwaters to explore Siphandone. During the rainy season, the Mekong River reaches a breadth of 14 kms, the river’s widest reach along its 4,350 km journey from the Tibetan Plateau towards the South China Sea; when the river recedes, it leaves behind thousands of islands and islets. Visit the surrounding islands of Done Ket and Done Som for a glimpse into the traditional lifestyle of the fishermen. Continue to Done Khone Island.Visit Done Khone Island and hike along its ancient railway built by the French in 1897 in order to bypass the powerful rapids when transporting goods from Cambodia. Continue to Sumphamith Waterfall. Board a local long-tail riverboat to reach the fishing village of Ban Phiengdy and continue by car to the magnificent Khone Phapheng Waterfall, the largest cascade along the Mekong River. A fault line caused the cascade, which is 6 km wide at this point, and the astonishing force of the water has cut dramatic gorges through the brittle bedrock. Return by road to Khong Island.
- Overnight at the hotel.
 
Day 9: Khong – Phou Asa – Pakse (B)

- Breakfast at the hotel.
- Drive to the Suay minority village of Ban Khiat Ngong. The Suay men are traditionally engaged in elephant training, especially for the timber trade. Ban Khiat Ngong village has a community project offering basic but comfortable accommodation in the 240,000 square kilometer Xe Pien National Biodiversity Conservation Area, which consists of a combination of wetlands and highland primary rainforest. This day, explore the highlands and take an elephant ride trough the primitive jungle to visit the enigmatic ruins of Phou Asa Temple. Visit Oummoung. Return to Pakse.
- Transfer  to hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
 
Day 10: Pakse – Tadlo (B)

- Breakfast at the hotel.
- Excursion to Tadlo (90 km from Pakse), located on the northern edge of the Boloven Plateau. Tadlo is touted as an Eco – friendly resort near the Xeset waterfall. En-route, make a short visit to the Katou village of Ban Houeihoun. This minority is a very primitive population that earns their livelihood from forest products. In this village, one thing worth pointing out is that the women do not use handlooms for weaving as in other parts of the country. PM,continue to visit  villages  minorities of  Khmu,Souey,TaOy. Excursion to Tadlo, located on the Northern edge of the Boloven Plateau. Tadlo is touted as an eco -
- Overnight at the hotel.
 
Day 11: Tadlo – Sekong (B)

- Breakfast at the hotel.
- Elephant rading to Khmu village.
- PM : Continue to Sekhong, visit Bane KanDone.
- Arrive Sekong.Transfer to GH.
- Overnight at the hotel.

Day 12: Sekong – Attappeu (B)

- Breakfast at the hotel.
- Drive to Attapeu.On the way visit  Tad Houa Khone and Tad Faid waterfalls. Arrive Attapeu, check In at hotel.
- Drive to Bane La Yao, Bane Champa (near Phou Luang mountain, 20 km from town) for visit minority village  OY.
- Retun to hotel
- Overnight at the hotel.

Day 13: Attapeu – Fullday visit (B)

- Breakfast at the hotel.
- Drive to Pa Am  then Muang Phouvong 18 km from town ,visit La Ve minority. Visit Vat Luangkao,short treek to forest  around 30 mn.
- Continue to visit Vat Phra That Xaysettha.Return to Hotel.
- Overnight at the hotel.

Day 14: Attapeu – Pakse (B)

- Breakfast at the hotel.
- Return to Pakse via Muang Paksong.On the way visit SeKatamTok water fall.
- Lunch free.Continue to the Boloven Plateau and visit a tea and coffee plantation and the Tadfane Waterfalls.
- Arrive Pakse . Transfer to hotel.
- Overnight at the hotel.

Day 15: Pakse Departure (B)

Transfer to airport for the departure flight

GroupCost: US$ per pax 1 pax
Superior 1,838

Price includes:

- Transportation in private air-conditioned
- Accommodation in twin shared
- Boat trip as stated in above sights
- English or French speaking guide
- Elephant riding 2 hrs
- Admission fee to indicated sights
- Meals: B= breakfast, L= lunch, D= dinner
- Domestic gov’t tax and service charge
- Luggage handling

Price excludes:

- Visa stamping fee on arrival US$30.00/pax.
- International airport departure tax US$10.00/pax.
- Domestic airticket with airport tax.
- International air tickets to/from Laos.
- Travel Insurance in all kinds.
- Meals: (lunch or dinner, quoted separately).
- Single room (quoted separately).
- Tip, drinks, personal expenses and others not stated.