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Along the Mekong River

Day 1. Chiangrai – HoueiSay – Pakbeng1

After passing through immigration, you cross the Mekong River to HoueiSay in Laos where your Lao guide will be waiting for you at the immigration point. After completing border formalities, you board a ready traditional boat for the trip down the Mekong River. Serene, timeless Laos is one of Asia’s most unvisited, unchanged countries. This once-powerful kingdom known as Lane Xang (Million Elephants) was founded in the 14th century with the help of the Khmers, and it went on to become one of the largest kingdoms in Southeast Asia until its demise in the late 19th century. Bisected and bordered by the Mekong River, omnipresent symbol of Indochina, Laos today is an amalgam of cultural influences; Theravada Buddhism, animism, France, and the socialist ideal. It is a peaceful place, and the legendary hospitality, resilience and friendliness of the Lao people is much in evidence. Laos is Old Asia preserved. As your journey downriver you will stop at some tribal minority villages such as the Hmong, Yao and Khmu. Upon arrival in Pakbeng, we visit local market; experience daily lifestyle of colorful hill tribe traders exchanges their goods. Overnight in Pakbeng.
 
Day 2. Pakbeng – Pak Ou Cave – Luang Prabang (B)2

Breakfast, as you sail downriver as a second leg, you will pass areas of un-spoilt forest with little villages along the riverbanks and perhaps the odd elephant or two with his mahout. You visit a fishing village and a rice winemaking village and perhaps even taste some of the infamous beverage known as Lao Rice wine. You also visit the Pak-Ou caves, where thousands of Buddha statues are stored. You arrive in Luang Prabang around sunset and transfer to your hotel. This charming city of UNESCO world heritage site, The Luang Prabang is a small, dream-like town on the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers, in a beautiful mountain setting. From 1353 until 1545 it was the capital of Lane Xang before power was transferred to Vientiane. Despite the move Luang Prabang remained the seat of monarchical power and when the kingdom broke up in 1694, one of the deceased king’s grandsons established a rival kingdom to those in Vientiane and Champassak. Though weakened, the Luang Prabang royalty endured until 1975, when after the reign of 63 kings it was formally dissolved. You spend the day exploring the temples and sites in what is called one of the last Shangri-La’s of Southeast Asia. You will visit Wat Xiang Thong, the most important Buddhist monastery in the country. Overnight in Luang Prabang

Day 3. Luang Prabang – City Tours – Khouangsi Waterfall (B)3

This morning you may want to wake up early and participate in the daily early morning ritual of saffron-clad monks with their black Alms-giving bowls being given offerings from the local people, including the ubiquitous sticky rice.
AM:  We are exploring, Wat Visoun, Wat Khili and Wat Mai. Later, visit the former Royal Palace, now a National Museum where you will find ornate, gilded and brocaded reception rooms, as well as Buddha and Atacular artifacts including the Prabang, a large holy image, which was given in the 14th century by the Khmers to King Fa Ngum. At sunset climb the nearby temple-topped hill of Phousi where you’ll catch a lovely view out over the town and the river.
PM:  We excursion out the town to experience local lifestyle of Luang Prabang Villages and most beautiful waterfall in Luang Prabang. On the way, visit Phosi Market, where you will see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings. Laos is also known for its traditional handicrafts, and continues visit local village of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay and Ban Thapene and the weaving village of Ban Phanom. Time permitting you may also wish to drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you can splash around in the pools or walk along the forest paths. Return to Luang Prabang city by late afternoon and visit Street Night Market, where you can find the lovely collection and handmade textile by local and hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 4. Luang Prabang – Vientiane (B)4

Breakfast, We are strolling around and visit the Silver smith’s and the Central Market are not to be missed. We visit these sights, this morning before we catch a flight to Vientiane. Upon arrival, we see the major temples including the oldest Wat Sisaket, a temple of thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. On the way to the famous, sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, we stop to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph, sunset by Mekong Riverside and late evening, Overnight in Vientiane.

Day 5. Vientiane – Departure (B)

After breakfast, we visit the Morning Market and the weaving village of Ban Nong Bouathong (if time permits). The tour ends after your transfer to Wattay Airport or Friendship Bridge for departure.

GroupCost: US$ per pax 1 pax 2 pax 3-6 pax 7-11 pax 12-15 pax 16-19 pax 20 up pax Singular Lunch Dinner
Superior 1,520 830 762 495 423 408 426 178 74 96
First Class 1,576 874 804 535 464 448 441 193 90 113
Deluxe 1,947 1,050 980 711 640 624 617 387 113 150
City Superior 3-Star First Class 4-Star Deluxe 5-Star
Vientiane Day Inn Lao Plaza Settha Palace
Luang Prabang Parasol Blanc Villa Santi La Residence
Pakbeng Pakbeng Lodge Pakbeng Lodge PakbengLodge
HoueiSay Thaveesinh Thaveesinh Thaveesinh

Price includes:

- Transportation in private air-conditioned
- Domestic airticket with airport tax
- Accommodation in twin shared
- Boat trip as stated in above sights
- English or French speaking guide
- 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.