Trip Description & Day-by-day Itinerary
10 Days Laos Itinerary is an off the beaten path tour taking you to both southern Laos and northern Laos. You start the trip from Pakse, visit Khong Island, 4000 islands, then travel up north to Luang Prabang, Xieng Khouang, and Vientiane.
Day 1: Arrive Pakse – Wat Phu – Khong Island
Upon arrival you are met and transfer to the boat pier. We take you on a long tailed boat south to Champasak to visit the fascinating UNESCO protected pre-Angkorian ruins of Wat Phu, one of Southeast Asia’s most dramatically situated temples. They are perched at the base of Mount Phu Kao and date back to the 5th century. We also have a chance to visit some nearby Khmer temples and Buddhist shrines. After lunch we drive to the peaceful Khong Island, the largest of the 4000 islands in the region. Overnight in Khong Island
Day 2: Khong Island – Surrounding
After breakfast, we enjoy a cruise venturing into the widest point of the Mekong River where thousands of islets become visible in dry season. Along the way, we stop at the Liphi waterfalls, one of the most beautiful in the country and also marking the Lao to Cambodia border. We visit the fishing village of Ban Don Khone as well. On return, we take a short drive to the Lao – Cambodia border at Veukham, and visit the imposing Khone Phapheng, South East Asia’s biggest waterfall. If we are lucky, we may even see the rare freshwater Irrawaddy Mekong dolphin. Overnight in Khong Island.
Day 3: Khong Island – Tadlo
Upon leaving Don Khone, we continue our journey towards Tadlo, through the Boloven plateau. The Plateau is known for its cooler temperature and has remarkable rivers running off the edges into the lush forests below. A trip to the plateau provides a refreshing break from the heat and allows you to see how coffee, tea, cardamom, bananas, and other crops are cultivated. This part of our journey is off the beaten track and allows you to discover some of the lesser-known areas in Laos. Upon arrival at the Tad Lo waterfall, we visit ethnic minority villages of the Alak, Nge and Katu. Overnight Tadlo.
Day 4: Tadlo – Pakse – Luang Prabang
After breakfast, we enjoy an Asian elephant ride to the beautiful Tadlo waterfalls and a Khmu village. We then return and transfer to the airport for a flight to Luang Prabang. Upon arrival we explore the main town, strolling around the Night Market where you can find the lovely souvenirs. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 5: Luang Prabang – Pakou – Luang Prabang
After breakfast, we enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong with its low sweeping rooves. We then board an upstream cruise on the Mekong River, which gives us a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside. We’ll make sure to stop at the Pak Ou Caves, sanctuaries consisting of two large caverns, both repositories for thousands of Buddha images. We will also stop at a few villages during the day, including Ban Xanghai where the local rice wine is produced and Ban Xiengmene and Ban Chan. In the afternoon we’ll visit the royal temple at Wat Longkhoun. Once back in Luang Prabang we’ll take a short drive to Ban Phanom, a village well known for its hand weaving and, if time, Ban Xangkong and Ban Xieng Lek – small villages well known for silk weavings and for Saa (jute) Papermaking. Overnight in Luang Prabang .
Day 6: Luang Prabang – Khouangsi Waterfalls
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily alms giving ritual to saffron-clad monks. This tradition is unique to Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. You will visit the morning Phosi Market where you will find dried buffalo skins, local teas and saltpeter among the many foodstuffs and hill-tribe textiles. Laos is also known for its traditional crafts, and today you will have the opportunity to visit ethnic minority groups in the Ban Ouay, Hmong, Ban Ou, Laoloum, Ban Thapene and Khmu Villages. After visiting the villages, we then drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfalls where you have the chance to swim in the turquoise pools or walk along forest paths. We return to Luang Prabang in the late evening to observe the sunset at Wat Phabath. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 7: Luang Prabang – Xieng Khouang (Road)
After breakfast, we visit the National Museum (closed Tuesday) at the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture. We also stop by the morning market. Afterwards we drive 300km uphill to Xieng Khouang. Upon arrival, we transfer out to visit the Plain of Jars, an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are scattered all over the plateau. If time permits, we see the old capital of Muang Khoun and some nearby villages. Overnight in Xieng Khouang.
Day 8: Xieng Khouang – Vientiane (Flight)
Following breakfast, we visit the Central Market, after which, you have free time to explore the town further before catching our flight to Vientiane. After checking into the hotel, we continue our sightseeing tour of the surrounding areas. Time permitting we’ll see the impressive Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge and Buddha Park, a scattered enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures. There are approximately 200 religious images dating back over 500 years here. A spectacular view of over the Mekong River at sunset is a perfect way to finish the day. Overnight in Vientiane.
Day 9: Vientiane City Tour
AM: After breakfast, we continue to explore Vientiane by visiting the major city sights, including Wat Sisaket, which contains more than 8000 Buddha statues, Wat Ho Prakeo the former home of the Emerald Buddha statue and That Luang Stupa, the single most important monument in Laos. We also see the Patuxay (Lao Arc de Triomphe), which was built recently in commemoration of those who died during past wars and today it is the city’s main landmark.
PM: We continue visiting the rest of Vientiane by foot, including Wat Ong Tue, Wat Inpeng and Wat Haisok. We pass by the major shopping areas and the Vientiane Central Markets where various goods are displayed for sale. We return to the Mekong Riverside in the late afternoon to watch the sunset.
Overnight in Vientiane
Day 10: Vientiane – Departure
After breakfast, you are free at your leisure until transfer to the airport.