Luxurious Laos and the feet in the sand in Hua Hin

ITINERARY: Luang Prabang – Vang Vieng – Vientiane – Hua Hin

DURATION: 12 days and 11 nights on the spot

Day 1

Arrival in Luang Prabang (L)

Note: Upon your arrival at Luang Prabang International Airport, it is possible to obtain your visa on arrival (VOA). Simply bring 1 passport picture along with between USD 30 and 45 / person in cash, visa fees varying from one nationality to another. Make sure your passport is valid at least 6 months beyond your return departure date. Visa on Arrival forms are available before immigration counters.

Welcome by your Lao English-speaking tour guide in the arrival hall.

Short orientation tour around Luang Prabang town and transfer to hotel for check in.

Lunch at the restaurant of the hotel.

Then, short visit to Phou Si hill. The hill commands great views over the town, the Mekong and the Nam Khan rivers and the mountainous ranges. It takes you 328 steps to reach the top, and at sunset set, the changing colors of the sky are particularly spectacular. The light reflecting on the golden spire of the temple at the top is also beautiful. The stairs are lined up with flamboyant and frangipani trees providing a deserved shade as you walk up and down.

Once back to ground level, stop at the awakening Hmong minority people Night Market. It is held daily in the streets around the National Museum. Villagers come here to sell their handicrafts.

Accommodation in Luang Prabang.

Day 2

Luang Prabang (B/L)

Breakfast at the hotel.

Half day city tour with essentials:

Start with The National Museum that used to be the former Royal Palace. Inside the complex of the National Museum, you will see the “Prabang” sacred golden statue, giving its name to the town.

Then visit Vat Mai, the former royal temple.

Vat Sene, one of the most beautiful temples in town, with its red walls and golden bas-reliefs.

TAEC, the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre. Depicts Laos ‘rich ethnic diversity with themed rotating exhibits. It is hosted in a former French colonial times judge’s mansion.

End with the Heritage House being a perfect example of Luang Prabang traditional building, made of wood on poles, at the back of Vat Xieng Muane.

Drive to Ock Pop Tok weaving centre, on the bank of the Mekong. Enjoy lunch at “Silk Road Café

Ock Pop Tok dyeing session. The Natural Dyes Class is an introduction to silkworms and silk types. In this class, students have a hands-on experience with natural dye preparation and complete their own color dyes. At the end of class you will take home 3 dyed silk skeins. Many of the natural dyes used are grown in their garden. Just to name but a few colors are turquoise, ochre, golden, ivory, emerald green, etc.

Accommodation in Luang Prabang.

Day 3

Luang Prabang – Half Day Elephant Riding (B/L)

05h40 – At discretion: Head by Tuk-Tuk to the peninsula to witness and attend alms giving. 06h – Long lines of monks and novices stroll the street of the town center to collect their daily food subsistence from the worshippers. This ancient ritual is locally known as “tak bat”.

Continue with a visit to the open-air food market that is held daily in the streets nearby the former Royal Palace. Lao people still like buying fresh food. While fridges are widely spread in households, people prefer going to local markets and returning home with fresh ingredients.

Return to the hotel for breakfast.

Optional: French style breakfast at Café Vat Sene bakery. Indulge in a croissant, fruit juice, coffee or tea plus French toasts with butter and jam. Lao people have inherited the culture of eating bread from the French. It is not unusual for Laotians to have a sandwich for lunch or on the go when they are traveling. It is also highly regarded in wedding receptions, while saucing the juice of a meat ragout.

08:30 – 09:00 am. Departure from your Hotel.

Pick up and transfer to the site of elephant riding at the elephant Village. Enjoy the impressive experience of approx. 1 hour elephant back ride on the Howdah (Elephant seat). Boat trip on the Khan River. Take a return pirogue trip to the Tad Sae Waterfall and spend some time in the clear water. Possibility to swim in the falls, water levels permitting.

Lunch will be provided at the Elephant Village Restaurant (Buffet lunch served with drinking water).

Return by kayak to Luang Prabang. The Nam Khan River goes into the direction of Luang Prabang city and offers some soft rapids and a green and lush surrounding countryside. Arriving near town you will be picked up and brought back to your hotel. Depending on water levels, there are a lot of activities on the banks and on the water! Fishermen fishing, ladies collecting river weeds, children playing, buffaloes refreshing, gatherers of stones and sand and usual daily life occupations of villagers.

Around 19h00, head to Hive Bar and enjoy the Ethnic Fashion Show with snacks and soft drinks.

Accommodation in Luang Prabang.

Luxurious Laos and the feet in the sand in Hua Hin

Day 4

Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Caves – Kuang Si Waterfall (B/L)

Breakfast at the hotel.

Enjoy a morning visit to the beautiful Vat Xieng Thong, one of the most emblematic temples in Laos. It is located at the top of the peninsula, where the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers meet.

Then, continue to the pier to board your long-boat for a highly scenic 2 ½ hour boat ride up the Mekong River to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. In Pak Ou, thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues are crowded into the two caves carved out of a towering limestone cliff. They range in size from a few centimeters to the size of a human.

Return to Luang Prabang.

Lunch at “Un Petit Nid”. This 1920’s restored mansion is an enjoyable place in a quiet part of town. The terrace with frangipani trees is pleasant.

Afternoon, depart to Kuang Si waterfall, 32 km south-west of Luang Prabang. En-route you will make stops to visit ethnic minority villages. Kuang Si is a good place to get more familiar with endemic and endangered Asian Black Bear at the Rescue Center.

It is also possible to hike to the top of the falls via a steep trail, and if the weather is good, you might enjoy a swim in the crystal clear water ponds at the foot of the falls.

Return to town and enjoy a game of Petanque with local residents. Another French legacy here. This balling game is extremely popular with Lao gentlemen. Civil servants and retired people are numerous to gather in the late afternoon and evening to share some happy moments together. Bottles of Beer Lao are often around and chit-chat playing with friends is another opportunity to cheer on any occasion!

Accommodation in Luang Prabang.

Day 5

Luang Prabang - Vang Vieng (B/L)

Breakfast at the hotel.

Leave Luang Prabang town by road down to Vang Vieng. A drive will take around 6 hours passing by ever green mountainous landscapes.

Stop en route to visit some villages along the way and recommend lunch a rest for lunch at Phou Pieng Fa restaurant. The site with amazing panoramic 360* views over the valley.

Arrive in Vang Vieng, in the second half of the afternoon.

Check-in at the hotel and time for freshening up.

Light boating on the Nam Song River before sunset.

Accommodation in Vang Vieng.

Day 6

Vang Vieng – Vientiane (B/L)

Breakfast at hotel.

Visit Tham Jang (Jang cave), then leave Vang Vieng and continue a second leg of a drive to Vientiane Capital It takes around 3 hour-drive.

Lunch at Makphet Restaurant.

Afternoon, Half day sightseeing tour, and start with Vat Sisaket: the only temple left intact after the Siamese invasion in 1828. It shelters hundred of statues of Buddha in its walls.

And continue with Vat Phra Keo, now used as a religious museum where you can see Lao and Khmer works of art. It used to host the “Emerald Buddha” that is now on display at Bangkok’s Royal Palace.

Continue to That Luang, the holiest place in Laos and object of an amazing pilgrimage in November. It is iconic and represented on all bank notes and official stamps. It is a golden stupa that crowns a small hill.

And conclude with Patuxai Monument, also called Anousavari, and enjoy a panoramic view over the city from the roof. It is Vientiane’s own Arc de Triomphe that is located at the top of Lan Xang Avenue, the Champs Elysees of the Lao capital.

Accommodation in Vientiane.

Luxurious Laos and the feet in the sand in Hua Hin

Day 7

Vientiane – Ban Hatkhai - Tad Xay - Pha Luang - Houay Ki Ling (B/L/D)

We will leave Vientiane at 7.30 a.m. You will be picked up at your hotel or any other place to your convenience and then we drive directly to Ban Hatkhai where our village guides will meet us. Our transport truck then will bring us to Pha Xay waterfall, passing rice fields and beautiful forest. The orchid trek begins at Pha Xay, a ca. 40 m high cliff, only few hundred meter downstream of Tad Xay. We hike along a network of trails in this part of mixed deciduous and evergreen forest and will be guided by local villagers and an orchid expert. You will not only be surprised about the abundance of orchids but get insights into their specific biology and ecology. You will also have the opportunity of getting introduced to many other plants used by the local people for medical purposes or as food supplement. A picnic lunch awaits you in the midst of the forest. In the afternoon our transport brings us back to Ban Hatkhai where we stay overnight in a villager’s home.

Time frame: approximately: 2 hours drive / 4 hours walking

Accommodation: Home-stay (Ban Hatkhai)

Transportation: Ford Everest or pick-up truck

Information: 1 orchid expert (English or French speaking)
Tip: bring along appropriate clothes for swimming/change of dress

Note: Please keep in mind that orchids are rare plants, even in a National Park! Do not pick any flower you will find. Just enjoy their beauty at their natural place and not in your hand. Taking photos is allowed, though… Thank you for your understanding!

Day 8

Ban Hatkhai - Vientiane (B/L)

Leaving the village early, we cruise upstream for about 45 minutes in a long-tail boat on the beautiful and calm Nam Mang River. We then trek through sometimes dense, sometimes open forest, more or less parallel to the Nam Mang River northwards. The trail up can be in part quite breathtaking. Pha Luang is a huge sandstone plateau about 1000 m a.s.l., with a steep cliff plunging down to the Nam Mang valley, from where we have fantastic views as far as the Mekong Plain and Thailand in the distant mist. The vegetation on the plateau is quite unique. Orchids are not that abundant here, but along the way we will see many plants used by the villagers, and emphasis is put by our expert guide on medicinal plants. Around lunch time, we rest for a while and take a picnic meal at Pha Luang before hiking in a loop further to Houay Ki Ling, a seasonal stream where you – with some luck – may encounter a troupe of macaque monkeys. We then return to the boat which brings us back to Ban Hatkhai. Here our car is ready for the last leg of our tour to bring us back to Vientiane where we arrive around 6.30 in the late afternoon.

Time frame: approximately 5 hours trekking / 2x 45 minutes boat / 2 hours drive

Transportation: Ford Everest or pick-up truck, long-tail boat

Information: 1 orchid expert (English or French speaking)

Accommodation in Vientiane.

Day 9

Vientiane – Bangkok – Hua Hin (B)

Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to airport for your flight to the next destination.

Flight Lao Airlines Vientiane- Bangkok at 07:35-08:35 (subject to change without prior notice from the airlines).

On arrival in Bangkok, you will pass the immigration and your driver will be waiting for you at the “rendez-vous point” of the airport. About 3-4 hours’ drive will lead you to your resort.

Once at your hotel Baan Laksasubha, check in and rest of the day, free time at leisure.

Luxurious Laos and the feet in the sand in Hua Hin

Day 10

Hua Hin (B/L)

Breakfast at your hotel and free time at leisure to enjoy the facilities of Baan Laksasubha Resort and to enjoy some suggested excursions.

Overnight at your hotel.

Day 11

Hua Hin (B/L)

Breakfast at your hotel and free time at leisure to enjoy the facilities of Baan Laksasubha Resort and to enjoy some suggested excursions.

Overnight at your hotel.

Day 12

Hua Hin (B/L)

Breakfast at your hotel and free time at leisure till your transfer back to Bangkok Airport for your next destination.

End of Services

Luxurious Laos and the feet in the sand in Hua Hin

Each program is absolutely customizable in terms of duration, itinerary, stops, types of accommodation, inclusions and activities. Anything actually! In line with your wishes and budget constraints.