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IMMERSION IN THE COUNTRY OF MILLION ELEPHANTS 9 DAYS

Luang Prabang - Xieng Khoang - Vang Vieng - Vientiane

Duration : 9 days
Type of trip : Off the beaten track
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Brief Itinerary

Day 1: Luang Prabang arrival
Day 2: Luang Prabang’s treasures
Day 3: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou - Kuang Si
Day 4: Luang Prabang - Phonsavan
Day 5: The plain of jars in Phongsavan
Day 6: Phongsavan – Vang Vieng
Day 7: Vang Vieng – Vientiane
Day 8: Vientiane city tour
Day 9: Last moments in the capital

On this journey, you will love

•    The ancient temples of Luang Prabang, a world heritage site
•    Virgin nature in the surroundings of Luang Prabang
•    The beautiful karst landscapes of the Vang Vieng region
•    The fields of the jars and the local culture of the Hmong ethine of Xieng Khoang
•    Local culture and vestiges of the colonial era in Vientiane

Day 1: Day 1: Luang Prabang arrival

Arrival at Luang Prabang Airport, welcome by the iLOTUS TOURS guide and transfer to your hotel. This peaceful city, world heritage, is located in the heart of a mountainous region in the north of the country.

Car: 10km Hotel
Day 2: Luang Prabang’s treasures

This day is dedicated to the most important sites of Luang Prabang: venture into Wat Visoun, a temple from the 16th century rehabilitated into a small religious museum, then into Wat Aham, a temple from the early 19th century. Two guardians, laid at the foot of the staircase, represent two characters from the Ramayana (Hanuman, the monkey god and the ferocious Yaksa). Next, Wat Xiengthong, the most important temple of the city dating from the 16th century and embodying the elegance and grace of  Luang Prabang architecture. Climb up the 328 steps of Mount Phousi leading to the top of the sacred hill. This shady Mount dominates the sky of Luang Prabang and offers a splendid 360° panorama of the surrounding villages and the Mekong. At the end of the day, enjoy some free time to wander through the wide night market, where you can find a collection of beautiful textiles handmade by local tribes. Overnight at the hotel.

Hiking: 3h Up: 150m Down: 150m B Hotel
Day 3: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou  - Kuang Si

In the morning, embark on a narrow, fast local boat, for an excursion on the Mekong River to Pak Ou. Many wonders await you on this journey: lush landscapes, typical villages and authentic local life. Pak Ou sanctuaries consist of two large caves and thousands of Buddha representations ranging from a few centimeters to two meters in height. Typical Laotian villages in the area are barely visible behind this thick screen of foliage. You will pass by slender canoes sailing near the shore, floats and bamboo poles marking the location of nets and fish traps. Take a break in Ban Muang Keo, a village well known for distilling traditionally Lao Lao whiskey rice. A short drive along the Mekong will take you south to Kuang Si Waterfalls located in a protected national park. These famous low waterfalls offer a spectacular and beautiful sight in their green setting. You will have enough time on site to relax and take a dip in the cool water, before returning to Luang Prabang by late afternoon. Night at the hotel.

Car: 60km/2h Walking: 1h Sampan: 2h B Hotel
Day 4: Luang Prabang  - Phonsavan

Today, transfer to Xieng Khouang, a province that was devastated by US bombings from 1964 to 1973. This long ride through stunning mountainscape and pretty little villages of ethnic minorities is a great way to explore Laos. Several stops for budding photographers are planned along the way. Upon arrival, explore the ancient capital of Muang Khun province and its surrounding villages. Overnight at Phonsavan.

Car: 270km/7h Walking: 2h B Hotel
Day 5 :  The plain of jars in Phongsavan

The Plain of Jars is an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are scattered all over the plateau. These enormous jars are supposed to be more than 2000 years old, and most archaeologists are still wondering about their purpose. The day will be devoted to the exploration of the fascinating N1 site and some neighboring villages, populated by the Hmong, the hill tribes and the inhabitants of Tai Dam. Very poor, they have a vibrant local culture and an interesting history. 

Car: 50km Walking: 3h B Hotel
Day 6: Phongsavan – Vang Vieng

Drive to Vang Vieng, a small town on the meandering Nam Song River. Landscapes are spectacular with limestone outcrops. It’s going to be an intense and hectic drive on a bumpy road full of potholes. On the way, make a few stops to pleasantly punctuate the journey. Visit a village of the H'mong ethnic group, take another break to enjoy the panoramic view at the top of Sala Phoukhoun, the highest peak in northern Laos. The last stop before arriving in Vang Vieng will be a viewpoint on the Phatang mountain to take in one last time this scenic beauty.

Car: 230km/7h B Hotel
Day 7 : Vang Vieng – Vientiane

Today, explore Tham Jang Cave that was once used by locals as a hiding place to protect themselves from Chinese invaders. Cross the river at Ban Huai Ngai, a very nice village where you can discover different ways of life. Leaving Vang Vieng, roads begin to deteriorate, but the breathtaking mountain scenery makes it worthwhile trip. Take the road to Vientiane. Located on the banks of the Mekong, the capital offers exotic images with a curious mixture of Laotian, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese and French influences.

Car: 170km/5h B Hotel
Day 8: Vientiane city tour

After breakfast, explore the most important historical and religious sites of the capital: Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple to survive the Siamese war in 1828, and its cloister with more than 8000 Buddha statues; Wat Phra Keo, the former royal temple turned into a museum of religious art, originally erected to house the famous emerald Buddha that the king brought back from northern Siam. Today, it displays a collection of Buddha statues, antiques and artifacts found around Vientiane. On the way to the famous stupa That Luang, stop to take pictures of the imposing Patuxay monument, which recalls the Parisian Arc de Triomphe. The rest of the day is free for you to shop at Vientiane Market. Do not miss out on Laotian textiles, hill tribe artworks, crafts and ancient items in general. Overnight at the hotel.

B Hotel
Day 9: Last moments in the capital

Depending on your departure flight, free time to discover the capital at your leisure. Transfer to the airport, departure flight. End of our services.     

IMPORTANT NOTES:

This trip is privately organized by iLOTUS TOURS. The price of the trip varies according to the size of the group, the level of services, the season and your reservation deadlines. The price published above is applied for a group of 6 participants, based on double/twin rooms in hotels. Click "Personalize this trip" to get the exact price for your group.

THE PRICE INCLUDES:
•    Accommodation and breakfasts in hotels on the accommodation list
•    Meals clearly mentioned in the program: B = breakfast; L = lunch; D = dinner
•    The entrance fee to the sites
•  Competent English-speaking guides throughout the trip except the free days when it is mentioned clearly: without a guide
•   Private air-conditioned car for all land transport except free days when it is mentioned clearly: without driver
•    One litre of drinking water per person per day
•    All logistic services necessary of the program.

THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
•    International flights and airport taxes from/to your country
•    Visa fees
•    Means of transport not mentioned in the program
•    Meals not mentioned in the program
•    Tipping for services: local guides, crew member, drivers, porters…
•    Drink, telephone, linen or all personal expenses not mentioned in the "price includes" section.

IMMERSION IN THE COUNTRY OF MILLION ELEPHANTS 9 DAYS

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IMMERSION IN THE COUNTRY OF MILLION ELEPHANTS 9 DAYS

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