Legendary Laos (5n/6d)

Reclining Buddha, Wat Phousi, Luang Prabang

Reclining Buddha, Wat Phousi, Luang Prabang.

Day 1. Arrival –Vientiane
On arrival at the Vientiane capital, you will be met and transferred to our centrally-located hotel. After a short rest, we commence our tour of 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. Enroute to 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. We will then proceed to watch the sunset over the Mekong Riverside in the evening. Overnight in Vientiane

Day 2. Vientiane – Xiengkhouang (by flight)
We board a short afternoon flight to Xiengkhouang, an area once devastated by American bombings between 1964 and 1973. Upon arrival, we transfer out to visit the Plain of Jars, an impressive archaeological site encompassing hundreds of large stone jars scattered throughout the plateau. In the afternoon there will be time to see the old capital of Muang Khoun Province and its nearby villages which are home to the H’mong hill tribe and Tai Dam people who possess an interesting local culture and a vibrant history. Overnight in Phonsavanh (B)

Day 3. Xiengkhouang – Vientiane – Luang Prabang (by flight)
There is free time for you to further explore the town prior to boarding your short flight back to Luang Prabang via Vientiane; this flight will take us over a mountainous region to Luang Prabang. 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. After checking into the hotel, we begin a tour of the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun, the shrine of Wat Aham, Wat Mai, and a hike up to the top of Mount Phousi for an exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a beautiful view of the sunset above the city and the Mekong River. From there, we explore Street Night Market, where you will find a lovely collection of local handmade textiles of the hill tribes surrounding Luang Prabang.  Overnight at Luang Prabang (B)

Day 4. Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Cave
Today, we enjoy a short-guided tour of the city’s oldest temple Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its sweeping low roofs, which represents the classical architecture of Luang Prabang temple. We then embark on a boat journey upstream along the Mekong River, which also gives us a beautiful view of the tranquil countryside, as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. Enroute, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where the local specialty of rice wine is produced. Once back in Luang Prabang city we take a short drive to Ban Phanom, well known for its hand weaving. Overnight in Luang Prabang (B)

Day 5. Luang Prabang – Vientiane
After breakfast you will experience the highlight of the tour to leave your mind with an impressionable image of this charming city. We visit the National Museum (closed Tuesdays) at the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of the artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating back from the days of the early kings right through to the last sovereign. Silver Smiths, the Fine Arts School and the Central Market are not to be missed and we visit these sights prior to bidding farewell to this ancient city and taking a flight back to Vientiane. After checking into your hotel, we transfer out to see the Buddha Park, a scattered enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures on the Mekong Riverside meadow and Friendship Bridge. There are approximately 200 religious images dating back over 500 years, which were created by a mysterious monk spreading his philosophy on life and to reveal his ideas about the universe. A spectacular view over the Mekong River at sunset is a delightful way to end the day. Overnight in Vientiane (B)

Day 6. Vientiane – Departure
After breakfast, we visit the Morning Market and the weaving village of Ban Nong Bouathong (if time permits). The tour ends after your transfer to airport for departure (B)

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