Trip Description & Day-by-day Itinerary
Travel Laos in 8 Days is one off-the-beaten path road trip we combine with popular places of the northern Laos including Pakbeng, Oudomxay, Nong Khiow, Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Vientiane.
Day 1: Chiang Khong – Pakbeng
On arrival Houei Say, Laos from Chiang Khong (Thailand), we embark on our traditional boat cruising downstream on the Mekong River. This part of the Mekong River is quite narrow and both banks are bordered by beautiful green forests and towering hills. The pace is very relaxed, a perfect way to observe rural life up close. Along the way, we stop at Ban Houeilampen to visit the Hmong people. We’ll arrive in Pakbeng in the afternoon. Overnight in Pakbeng.
Day 2: Pakbeng – Oudomxay – Nong Khiow
We have an early start visiting the hill tribe market before leaving Pakbeng. We then venture into the mountainous and remote area of Northern Laos. The verdant and rugged mountain scenery combined with the colorful local population makes this an unforgettable experience. Oudomxay province is residence to 23 ethnic minority groups and we’ll make a few rest stops along the way so that you can meet with some of them. Hill tribe people are unfailingly friendly, welcoming you with waving hands and smiling faces. We’ll reach our destination in late afternoon – the remote village of Nong Khiow; situated by the banks of the river with a commanding view of the valley below and surrounding mountainous scenery. Overnight in Nong Khiow.
Day 3: Nong Khiow – Luang Prabang
After breakfast we board the boat, stopping along the way in some ethnic minority villages. A highlight is visiting the Pak Ou Caves, two linked caverns crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. We continue our trip to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Luang Prabang. This former royal capital with its gleaming temple roofs, fading colonial architecture and stunning mountain backdrop retains a unique charm rarely found in Asia. There is little traffic on the roads and monks in orange robes scurry in all directions carrying umbrellas to shade themselves. We’ll ascend the 329 steps to the top of Mount Phousi to see the sacred, gilded stupa and enjoy a beautiful sunset over the city and the Mekong River. From there, we explore the Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textile and souvenirs. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 4: Luang Prabang City Tour
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning alms giving ritual to saffron clad monks. This tradition is unique to Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving this procession. After breakfast, we explore this charming city, seeing Wat Xiang Thong, the most important Buddhist monastery in the country, Wat Visoun, Wat Khili and Wat Mai. Later, we visit the former Royal Palace, now a National Museum (closed Tuesday) where you will find ornate, gilded and brocaded reception rooms, as well as many spectacular artifacts. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 5: Luang Prabang – Vang Vieng
After breakfast, we leave this charming city for our journey to Vang Vieng. The drive can be strenuous as the scenic route is also one of the roughest in Asia. In the afternoon we’ll arrive in Vang Vieng, a small and tranquil town nestled on a bend of the Nam Song River. The place is a natural paradise and is perfect for some R&R. Before settling down for the night, we’ll visit the 7km long Tham Hoy Cave and some Khmu and Hmong villages. Overnight in Vang Vieng
Day 6: Vang Vieng – Vientiane
After breakfast, you are free to explore the town on foot or by bicycle until we depart for Vientiane in early afternoon. The drive is lengthy, but there will be plenty of photo opportunities along the way. When we arrive, you are transferred to your hotel and have the evening free to walk along the Mekong Riverside. Overnight in Vientiane.
Day 7: Vientiane City Tour
A city tour acquaints us with the capital and after breakfast. We’ll visit 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 in commemoration of those who died during past wars; today it is the city’s main landmark. We will make sure to watch the sunset by the Mekong Riverside and spend the evening absorbing the city’s nightlife.
Day 8: Vientiane – Departure
Today, you are free until your departure flight out of Laos