Laos is both beautiful and culturally rich and has become one of the most in-demand destinations in the region. You’ll visit Luang Prabang, undoubtedly the drawcard attraction in Laos. The city itself is UNESCO World Heritage-listed.
On this trip, you’ll explore temples, take an early morning visit to see monks collecting the alms at sunrise and have the chance to experience an authentic Laos cookery class before eating the meal you’ve prepared. In Vientiane, you’ll find a quiet and serene city and have the chance to visit a landmine charity as well as the holy sites of the area.
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Day 1 and 2: Luang Prabang
Welcome to the spiritual capital of Laos. This evening you will have a brief introduction to Luang Prabang. Climb the stairs of Mount Phousi and watch the sunset over the city and surrounding hills. Walk down the other side and explore the hill tribe evening market.
Enjoy dinner at l’Elephant, one of the finest restaurants in Luang Prabang.
The next morning, if you can stomach the early wake-up call, visit at dawn to see the monks collecting the alms. As the sun begins to rise, long lines of orange-robed monks leave their pagodas and walk barefoot down the streets collecting offerings from Luang Prabang residents. It is a beautiful, serene ceremony that highlights the spiritualism of the Laos people.
Today enjoy an extensive tour of Luang Prabang. It includes exploring the streets of the city, seeing the locals at work and play before visiting the Royal Palace of Laos.
You’ll also get to discover some of the city’s most important temples.
This afternoon, experience the wonderful flavours of Lao cuisine with a Lao cooking class. You’ll learn about the ingredients involved and techniques used to create the local cuisine. At the end of the course, sit down to enjoy a delicious dinner which you have helped prepare.
Day 3: Mekong River
This morning you’ll venture to Luang Prabang’s peninsula where the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers merge. The beautiful Wat Xieng Thong is located here and a visit to the temple unveils golden gates, ornaments, and colourful murals.
You will then board a traditional wooden boat, Nava Mekong, for a relaxing cruise on the mighty Mekong River. Enjoy stunning mountain scenery and witness the simple rural lifestyles which rely on the river as you make your way upstream for around two hours.
Located upstream from Luang Prabang, Pak Ou Caves contains thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues crammed into two caves carved out of a towering limestone cliff.
The boat continues cruising in the vicinity of the caves and will moor during lunchtime at the foot of beautiful limestone cliffs. A selection of typical Lao dishes will be served onboard before you cruise back downstream.
The remainder of the day is at your leisure for additional sightseeing or relaxing in this charming city.
Day 4 and 5: Vientiane
Fly to Vientiane.
This afternoon, visit COPE, an association working to help landmine victims and then at sunset, enjoy a stroll along the Mekong River banks and enjoy a cold drink at one of the many riverside food stalls.
In the morning, visit That Luang, the holiest site in Laos. Constructed by King Setthethirat in the 16th century, the temple is resplendent as the sun highlights its towering golden spire. Then, enjoy a panoramic view over the city as you climb the stairs to the top of Patuxai, Vientiane’s own “Arc de Triomphe”.
Enjoy lunch at L’adresse de Tinay, a French-style bistro run and managed by French expatriates. The food is delicious “homestyle” French cuisine with just the right twist to turn each dish into a feast for the eyes.
For your final evening in Laos, you will have the unique opportunity to experience one of Laos’ oldest traditions: The Baci. It’s a mix of Animist and Buddhist beliefs and designed to call back escaped spirits to the body. This is something that is very important before major events such as weddings, births, travel, welcoming friends and farewells.
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