Laos, Heart Of Culture (4n/5d)

Statues at Pak Ou

Statues at Pak Ou

Day 1. Arrival – Luang Prabang  
Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Luang Prabang is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. The tranquility and charm of this town with its splendid natural scenery and cultural sights make it one of the most delightful places to visit in Laos. Today is free at your leisure to explore the city. Overnight in Luang Prabang

Day 2. Luang Prabang – City Tour
After breakfast, we enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple of Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. During our time here, we visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham, Wat Mai, we then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic view of the city at sunset and the Mekong River. From there, we explore the Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by local and hilltribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang (B)

Day 3. Luang Prabang – Pak Ou cave
Today, we embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside, as well as explore the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims.  Along the way, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where they make the local rice wine. On return, we disembark for traditional villages, visiting Ban Xienglek and Ban Xangkong, the villages of handmade jute paper-making and continue taking a short drive to Ban Phanom, a village well known for its hand weaving. Overnight in Luang Prabang (B)

Day 4. Luang Prabang – Kuangsi Water fall
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. From there you will visit the morning 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 crafts, and today you will visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, Hmong Village, Ban Ou, Laoloum Village and Ban Thapene, Khmu Village, then drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the turquoise pools or walk along the forest trails. After returning to Luang Prabang by late afternoon, we continue to Ban Xangkhong, a village well known for its silk weavings and for its Saa (jute) Papermaking. We return to the city by late evening to observe the sunset at Wat Siphouthabath. Overnight in Luang Prabang (B)

Day 5. Luang Prabang – Departure
After breakfast we visit the National Museum (closed Tuesday) at the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of the artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign. Also the Central Market is not to be missed. After visiting these sights in the morning, you have free time to explore the town and stroll around the shopping area. The tour ends after your transfer to the airport for departure (B)

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