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Legends of Laos

(10 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)

Vientiane, Pakse, Khong Island, Dong Daeng & Luang Prabang

 

A perfect trip for those with limited time or already based in Asia, giving a fascinating overview of Laos past and present. Visit Vientiane, the modern capital of Laos, before heading south to explore the ancient Khmer ruins of Wat Phou and the 4,000 Islands. End with a few days in the country's spirtual heartland of Luang Prabang.

 

** All our tours are Exclusive Private Tours, so you will not be put together with other guests **

 

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Day 1: Welcome to Vientiane

Fly to Vientiane, LAOS

 

Welcome to Laos. Upon arrival at Vientiane Airport, obtain your Laos visa (please refer to your Special Program Note), and then clear Immigration and Customs. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique 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.

 

Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

 

Accommodation: Stay 2 nights in Vientiane

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Salana Boutique Hotel, Ansara Hotel

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Green Park Boutique Hotel, Settha Palace Hotel

 

Day 2: Vientiane

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Full day tour of Vientiane: After breakfast, you'll head out with your guide and spend the morning visit Morning Market and nearby Ethnic Handicraft Market. The Morning Market (Talaat Sao) is known for its superior silk weaving, metal work, and woodcarving. We continue to explore Vientiane capital by visiting the major sights of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. En route to Lao's national precious heritage, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, you will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane's own Arc de Triumph. The final visit of the morning will be the excellent COPE exhibition center, highlighting a much overlooked aspect of Laos and a major problem many of the local people face on a day to day basis in the form of unexploded ordnance as a result of heavy bombing campaigns during the Vietnam War era.

 

Later this afternoon we visit the quirky yet impressive Buddha Park, an enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures on the Mekong Riverside meadow. They were created by a mysterious monk spreading his philosophy on life and revealing his ideas about the universe. Upon returning to Vientiane we have the optional of stopping at the Lao Disabled Womens Centre, which provides valuable training and schooling for disabled women in Laos. Finish the day with the spectacular view of the Mekong River at sunset.

 

Day 3: Vientiane – Pakse – Wat Phou

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Early this morning, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Pakse.

 

Fly Vientiane to Pakse on Laos Airlines QV305, departing 06:15, arriving 07:05

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Pakse. Upon arrival at Pakse Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, upon arrival at Pakse airport, meet your local guide and transferred to Ban Mouang in Champassak Province where you will board the Wat Phou cruise boat.

 

Wat Phou Cruise: On arrival at the dock you will board the Wat Phou, an old rice barge, and check into your cabin. The Wat Phou becomes your comfortable floating air-conditioned teak hotel for the next 2 nights. The vessel has twelve cabins each with twin beds and private hot and cold running water bathrooms. It also has a shaded upper deck for lounging and a restaurant that serves the finest Lao, Vietnamese and Thai cuisine. Lunch will be served on board and afterwards you will visit Wat Phou, the ruined pre-Angkorian Khmer temple, which dates from 8-11th centuries, and the nearby museum which explains the history of the site. As dusk falls, board the ‘Wat Phou' for a relaxing cruise down river, enjoying the tropical sunset on deck. Dinner is served on board, while the boat docks for the night alongside a remote Laotian village.

 

Accommodation: Stay 2 nights on the Wat Phou Cruise (Standard Twin Cabin)

 

Day 4: Huei Thamo – Oum Moung Temple – Khong Island

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Wat Phou Cruise: Breakfast on board as you sail to the village of Huei Thamo which is only a few minutes walk away from the spectacular ‘hidden' forest temple of Oum Moung. Explore the temple before rejoining the boat for a cruise southwards and lunch on the deck. Continue your leisurely sail further south to the wild paradise of the "4,000 islands", visiting Khong Island and the village of Ban Deua Tia, where the traditional way of life has not changed in centuries. Return to the ‘Wat Phou' for a sunset cruise and a quiet dinner under the stars, serenaded by the songs of buffalo toads.

 

Day 5: Ban Veuthong – Niagara of the East – Xieng Di – Pakse

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

 

Wat Phou Cruise: Enjoy breakfast on deck whilst cruising to the small village of Ban Veuthong, where you will board a small boat to meander among the 4,000 Islands to Khone Island. You will visit the old French railway and walk across the bridge that links Khone and Det Islands. You will then continue on the boat back to the mainland for lunch at a local restaurant in the small fishing village of Xieng Di, on the banks of the Mekong. After lunch a bus will transfer you to the historically significant Pha Pheng Waterfall, "the Niagara of the East", close to the Cambodian border. After sightseeing here you will be transferred back to Pakse where the Wat Phou experience ends late afternoon.

 

Road journey from Pakse to Champasak: After disembark the Wat Phou Cruise drive south to the La Folie Lodge near Champasak. Located on Dong Daeng Island, on the banks of the Mekong River in southern Laos, La Folie Lodge sits on a secluded beach facing the ruined Khmer temple of Wat Phou. The lodge has been designed to offer magnificent views of the Mekong from everywhere in the resort (rooms, restaurant, bar or swimming pool) and is surrounded by lush landscape and exotic gardens. The 24 large, comfortable bedrooms are decorated and furnished with local materials and are housed in 12 bungalows set in the garden. Each room has its own balcony. The lodge has a bar, a restaurant, a swimming pool and offers bike rides and boat trips.

 

Accommodation: Stay 2 nights at La Folie Lodge (Superior Room)

 

Day 6: Dong Daeng

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Enjoy the full day at this beautiful resort. You may take bikes and discover the island or enjoy the tranquility at the pool, overlooking mighty Mekong River.

 

Day 7: Pakse – Luang Prabang

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

After leisurely morning, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Luang Prabang.

 

Fly Pakse to Luang Prabang on Laos Airlines QV304, departing 12:40, arriving 13:55

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Luang Prabang. Upon arrival at Luang Prabang Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique 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.

 

After getting settled, you'll head out with your guide and spend the afternoon visit the city’s oldest temple of Wat Sene and visit to Luang Prabang’s most beautiful temple, Vat Xiang Thong. Once a royal temple where Laotian kings were crowned, it is still home to the royal funeral chapel with the 12-meter-high funeral chariot and funeral urns for each member of the royal family. Remodeled in the 1960s, the temple features a gilded entrance, walls covered in black lacquer and decorated with gold figures and symbols and the impressive “tree of life” mosaic of stained glass, which is one of the best-known images in Laos, visit the Wat Mai temple; and take an orientation tour of the city and finishing with a hike up Vat Phousi hill in the late afternoon to see a sweeping view of Luang Prabang and watch the sunset. The temples on the slopes of Phousi are all recently constructed and located at the summit of the sacred hill. Phousi is reached by climbing 350 steps.

 

Accommodation: Stay 3 nights in Luang Prabang

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Le Sen Boutique Hotel, Burasari Heritage, Mekong Riverview Hotel

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Belmond La Residence Phou Vao, Luang Say Residence 

 

Day 8: Alms in Luang Prabang & local rural life

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Shortly after dawn in Luang Prabang, a gong announces the end of morning prayers and the beginning of a procession of monks emerging from the temples to seek alms; rise early this morning to experience this extraordinary ritual. After breakfast, stroll through the lively Central Market where the ethnic minorities of the surroundings come daily. Explore the National Museum, preserved from its days as a royal residence at the turn of the 20th century and depicting day-to-day life for the rich and royal, and take an orientation tour of the city. Next, you’ll continue to the Ock Pop Tok Living Crafts Center located on the Mekong River surrounded by a garden and artisans on the outskirts of town. Enjoy the early afternoon relaxing or walking around before you continue your tour, visiting the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Museum, a small private museum about minority groups where you can learn about ethnic cultures and traditional arts. The exhibits contain text, photographs and objects from villages throughout the north of Laos.

 

Spend the afternoon on a community based living rice farm situated in the idyllic countryside, surrounded by mountains and rice paddies. You’ll have an opportunity to experience the life of local rice farmers and try your hand at some of their daily activities, or view them from the comfort of a traditional Lao rice house balcony, surrounded by rice terraces and an organic vegetable farm. There will also be time to visit local handicraft workshops featuring crafts including bamboo weaving, blacksmithing, and sugar cane processing. And a tour of an organic garden offers insights on how natural herbs are used in traditional medicine. Returning to your hotel in Luang Prabang for an evening spent at leisure.

 

Returning to the hotel after dusk, the evening will be free to relax or explore on your own.

 

Day 9: Life in the Laotian countryside

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

This morning your guide will meet you at your hotel and enjoy a relaxing local style riverboat trip with your guide on the mighty Mekong River, to visit the sacred Pak Ou Buddha Caves. Pak Ou caves have been home to many thousands of Buddha images that have been placed here by local people since 16th century, when King Setthathirath found the caves and declared them a holy spot, and even today many people still pay respect to this tradition. Afterwards, walk around Ban Pak Ou Village, a small Laotian fishermen’s village on the Mekong River, and your long-tail boat for a scenic ride on the Mekong until you reach the small weaving village of Ban Phone Xay, where you’ll enjoy a weaving demonstration and have a chance to purchase handmade items directly from the source.

 

After lunch, a scenic drive through the countryside leads to the multi-tiered cascades of the Khouang Si waterfalls. The distance is about 30km and takes approximately 1 hour passing through very scenic Laotian countryside. The waterfalls tumble over multi – tiered limestone formations into cool, clear pools ideal for swimming and relaxing. On the way to the waterfalls, visit small villages of Ban Na Oune, Hmong village and Khmu minority village of Ban Thapane for a glimpse into their lifestyle. Continue to the waterfalls. Return to Luang Prabang. On the way, visit Ban Ou, a lowland Lao village known for its cotton production. Continue to see silk production at Ban Phanom, a weaving village that become famous as the ‘weavers of royalty’, producing items for the Royal Palace of the last King of Laos.

 

Later afternoon, you'll be returned to your hotel for free to relax or explore independently.

 

Day 10: Depart Luang Prabang

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Today free at leisure until transfer to the Luang Prabang airport in time for your flight to the next destination. We wish you a safe and pleasant journey.

 

 

Price guideline:

 

The above tour costs from $1,330*per person, based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room.

 

*Please note this price is subject to change at the time of booking, and depends on the date of travel and the availability of accommodation.

 

Our price includes (Private tour): 

• Accommodation base in a shared double or twin room throughout

Daily buffet breakfast at hotel and all hotels taxes and service charges.

Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle as specified in the itinerary.

Travel by private, air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced, safe driver.

Private sightseeing with local, English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary.

Meals included as indicated as in program: B: breakfast, L: lunch & D: dinner.

Domestic flight tickets: Vientiane – Pakse on Economy Class.

Domestic flight tickets: Pakse – Luang Prabang on Economy Class.

Boat cruise as specified in the programmed.

Entrance fees according the above program.

Local bottled water while sightseeing and transfers.

VAT and all taxes and service charge.

 

The price does not include

International flight tickets and Visas

Any items of purely personal nature such as laundry and telephone calls

Personal, travel and health insurance

Early check in and late check out

Drinks during meals

Meals that are not specified

Gratuities/tipping to tour guide, driver and hotel staff and restaurant’s staff

 

 

All of our itineraries can customized as you wish, add extra days, change a hotel, and see different sights. For information on this or our other tours please email us at: info@globaltravel-asia.com