THE TWIN COUNTRIES EXPERIENCE

Code: LA-AD-TE10 Duration: 10 days Theme: Adventure

This package is the part of our Lao adventure tour series, it is the combination of the best of Laos, and a short visit in Northeastern Thailand. The Lao highlights include the experience in Vientiane, the capital city; the drive through the mountainous area to Luang Prabang with 01-night stop in the exciting Vang Vieng, the eco-tourism heaven; the visit in Luang Prabang brings you not only the culture immersion, but also the nature beauties; the most impressive part in Lao side is the 02-day cruise along the Mekong river to Huayxay, where you will continue your journey in the amazing Thailand.

The excursion in Thailand can varies from experiencing the daily life, and culture of local hill tribe; to the visit to the infamous Golden Triangle. This is the perfect match of the two countries to promise your unforgettable journey.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visiting the highlights of Vientiane, the least developed capital city of Asia
  • Experience the traditional farming practices, which help produce the organic products.
  • Driving through the mountainous area to Luang Prabang via the eco-tourism heaven of Vang Vieng
  • Immerse in the cultural tradition, and culture beauties of Luang Prabang
  • Cruising along the mighty Mekong to Pakbeng, and Huayxay
  • Discovering the beauties of Northeastern Thailand.

TOUR ROUTE

Vientiane – Rice Farm Experience with Tuktuk Safari – Vang Vieng – Luang Prabang – Kuang Si waterfalls – Pha Tad Ke Garden – Pakbeng – Huayxay – Chiang Khong – Lanjia Lodge – Chiang Rai

+ Guide & Driver
+ Meal: Welcome Dinner
+ Excursion: Airport Transfer + City Tour
+ Accommodation: Hotel in Vientiane

+ Arrival Flight: TBA

On arrival at the Wattay International airport, you will be met and transferred to check in the hotel.

Vientiane is a charming and fascinating capital, with an interesting mix of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, and American influences.

In the afternoon, we start visiting the major sights of the capital; including Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statues, and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. Enroute to Lao’s national icon, the precious and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, you will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph.

End your tour of the capital along the banks of the Mekong River as the sun begins to set. Stroll along the river, stop to enjoy a cold drink, or sample a snack from one of the many local food stalls.

The welcome dinner will be served at the local restaurant with traditional dance & folk song, the best chance to experience Lao culture

Overnight in Vientiane.

+ Guide & driver
+ Meal: Breakfast, lunch
+ Excursion: visiting the organic farm in Vientiane with tuktuk – the local famous tricycle
+ Accommodation: Hotel in Vientiane
+ Pick-up: 08:30AM

Our tuk tuk driver (also our guide) will pick you up at your hotel after breakfast, and take you to an organic rice, fish and vegetable farm on the outskirts of Vientiane. Run by a Lao non-government organisation using traditional Lao farming methods, this is the perfect place to try your hand at rice farming. The friendly farmers will show you how to get your feet wet planting rice seedlings (during rainy season), or if it’s harvest season then cut and thresh your own rice for lunch! Do a spot of fishing, collect fresh duck eggs, learn about organic fertiliser and how it is made, and harvest fresh seasonal organic vegetables and bamboo (if in season).

Once you’ve finished in the field, you’ll cook up a traditional Lao lunch with the days’ produce. Learn how to cook sticky rice and make papaya salad and sit down to enjoy a picnic-style lunch and a well-earned rest.

On the way back into town, we’ll take you to a local fresh food market to check out the amazing diversity of Lao food. Stop for a while in the market for a traditional Lao coffee or sample some delicious Lao sweets.

Transfer back to your hotel late afternoon. Overnight in Vientiane

+ Guide & driver
+ Meal: Breakfast, lunch
+ Excursion: Transfer to Vang Vieng in the morning. Afternoon visit Tham Phoukham. Then enjoy the leisurely boat along the Nam Song river admiring the sunset
+ Accommodation: Hotel in Vang Vieng
+ Pick-up: 08:30AM

We leave the capital early for our journey northbound; we will see some breathtaking scenery enroute as we pass through spectacular countryside towards the mountainous region. Along the way, we visit the busy and colorful market of KM52 where various hill tribes come to trade goods and buy provisions. We may also make a short photo stop at Hin Heup bridge, and the fish market in Ban Tha Heua. We reach our destination Vang Vieng, which is nestled on a bend of the Nam Song River. Its stunning scenery with limestone outcrops remains unspoiled, despite recent developments with the advent of tourism.
In the afternoon, we start our board through paddy field areas heading to Tham Phoukham caves, where your breath will be taken away seeing the most beautiful and famous limestone cavern, surrounded by natural forests. Along the way, you have chance to explore the local cultures by greeting the local villagers and learning about their daily lifestyle. There is a small natural pool in front of the caves where you can take a swim to refresh yourself from the hot climate or you could explore the nearby area.
Transfer back to town, we will enjoy the leisurely boat along the Namsong River while admiring the sun setting behind the mountains. Overnight in Vang Vieng

+ Guide & driver
+ Meal: Breakfast, lunch
+ Excursion: Visit the famous Tham Jang before transferring to Luang Prabang
+ Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang
+ Pick-up: 08:30AM

In the morning, transfer to visit the cave of Tham Jang, which was used in the early 19th century in defense against the Chinese invaders. We transfer to visit Ban Phathau, a very pleasant village where we can explore the different local lifestyles.
We then start our expedition on the new road to Luang Prabang, that is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. The roads are well paved along the way for a smooth journey; we pass some stunning landscape scenery with a mixture of steep terraced fields and hill villages, we take a few photo stops at some small hill tribe village enroute. Each hill tribe village in Laos has a different feel, some are more prosperous than others but all have plenty of life. Before reaching Luang Prabang, we will make a short stop to visit the local school at Ban Nasala. Overnight in Luang Prabang

+ Guide & driver
+ Meal: Breakfast, lunch
+ Excursion: Visit Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden & some main sites in the city
+ Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang
+ Pick-up: 08:30AM

The Pha Tad Ke boat departs Ban Wat That at 9:00 (please be at the pier at 8:45). Enjoy a 15-minute leisurely boat trip down the Mekong River. Upon arrival at Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden reception you will be given a short presentation about the gardens. After that walk through the Ginger Garden and the Ethno-botanic Garden, which is the centrepiece of the garden. Follow the path through the Limestone Walk and take in the amazing mountainous Mekong landscape. Learn how to make a bamboo stick animal at the site of the hunting lodge of the former royal family. Then continue your tour of Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden walking through the Arboretum, Palm Garden and Bamboo
Garden
to our viewpoint that overlooks the rice fields. Stop by the Mist House where you will learn more about the importance of biodiversity conservation. Finish your excursion with an optional orchid talk at Pha Tad Ke Nursery.
All of the gardens will have introductory panels and labels. You can always ask our expert staff should you have any questions or require more information.
Enjoy a delicious Lao set lunch at the Pha Tad Ke café. Then take the boat back to Luang Prabang center

In the afternoon, your city tour begins with a visit to the magnificent Wat Xiengthong, a superb piece of Lao temple architecture, which presents a sweeping two-tiered roof and ornate mosaics including a beautiful ‘tree of life ‘glass montage on the rear temple wall.

If time permits, we will take a short walk around the small streets of city center, watching the life of local people, and visiting the traditional house of Heuan Chan, the Chantal wooden house dating back to 100 years old.

After that, you will visit Royal Palace Museum, which was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family.

Late afternoon, we climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic sunset view of the city and the Mekong River.

The tour ends after a visit to the famous 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

+ Guide & Driver
+ Meal: Breakfast, lunch
+ Excursion: trek from Ban Long Lao to Kuang Si waterfalls
+ Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang
+ Pick-up: 08:30AM

We depart from your hotel and drive for around one hour west to Ban Xeng Mouk village where the trek starts.
We begin with a visit to the ethnic Khmu village of Ban Longlao Nung before heading to the nearby Hmong village of Ban Longlao Song. You will be able to observe the lifestyles of these two culturally very different minority groups and see how despite their differences they manage to work together on a day to day basis and even sharing the same school.
As we continue onwards the trail leads through rice paddys and vegetable fields before reaching the mountainous forest. Along the way we explore a cave which was used as a bomb shelter by the locals during the second indochina war.
After visiting the cave one more hour of trekking brings us to one of the many springs which feeds Kuang Xi waterfalls, here a beautiful pool full of sacred fish can be seen. After descending from the top of the waterfall we enjoy a Lao style lunch amongst some beautiful settings!
The afternoon is spent bathing and relaxing around the turquoise pools below the waterfall. You can also visit the bear conservation center which is located nearby and home to many bears which have been rescued from illegal farms.
Before returning to Luang Prabang we take a short walk to a nearby Khmu village of Ban Thapene which is home to some of the most beautiful pools of Kuang Xi Waterfalls.

Approximately: 2 hours driving, 4 hours trekking

+ Guide & Driver
+ Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
+ Excursion: full day cruise to Pakbeng, visit Pak Ou caves along the way
+ Accommodation: Hotel in Pakbeng
+ Pick-up: 06:30AM

Our driver will pick you up from your hotel at 6:30 AM, and transport you to the boat pier. The boat leaves at 7:00 AM for the upstream cruise to Pakbeng. French breakfast is served onboard after the introduction of the crew. Shortly thereafter, we will stop to visit the famous Pak Ou Caves (Tham Ting) and its thousands of Buddha images. For lunch, local food is served onboard. Then, you will have free time for relaxing in the afternoon, until the boat arrives in Pakbeng at dusk. You will be served a typical snack and drink on board in the afternoon. Here, you will retreat to your accommodation for the night.

 

Cruise schedule: Departure every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday

+ Guide & Driver
+ Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
+ Excursion: continue the cruise to Huayxay, then proceeding to Chiang Khong, and Lanjia Lodge in Thailand
+ Accommodation: Lanjia Lodge in Thailand
+ Pick-up: 06:45AM

The guide will meet you on the boat at 06:45 AM, which departs at 07:00 AM for continuing the trip up to Houay Xay. On the way, we visit a Hill Tribe village. Our guide will explain the way of living and the origins of these rural populations. After, lunch will be served on board. A final, brief stop has to be made in Pak Tha for having necessary boat documents signed. Then, before arrival in Houay Xay, we will initiate your palate to local flavors by offering a tasting of seasonal fruits, drinks, snacks. Arrival in Houay Xay will be around 5:00pm, continue to the border crossing to Chiang Khong (Thailand)

Once reaching the Huayxay, we will cross the border to Chiang Khong (Thailand), where our driver will pick you up with the sign the LANJIA LODGE.

Arriving at the lodge, and enjoying your welcome drink, there will be the short presentation of the lodge manager together with the video about the various tribal people residing in Thailand, with the main focus on the Hmong and Lahu tribes, for them being your hosts at Lanjia Lodge.

Another presentation will give you insights on the various activities affecting the lives of people living by and from the Mekong River over decades and on the famous Giant Catfish (locally known as Pla Buek), the world’s largest freshwater that can still be found in the Mekong.

In the evening, you enjoy a sumptuous dinner with local delicacies, followed by a performance of both, Hmong and Lahu music and dances.

Overnight at Lanjia Lodge

+ Guide & Driver
+ Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
+ Excursion: Full day visit the surrounding area of Lanjia Lodge
+ Accommodation: Lanjia Lodge
+ Pick-up: 08:00AM

You prepare yourself for an adventurous day with a nearly-morning breakfast in the lodge. A local guide
will then guide you through the Hmong and Lahu village adjacent to the lodge, called “Baan Kiew Karn”.

You will learn about the many traditions, beliefs and the daily way of life of these two tribes, and also enjoy a hands-on experience of the local Batik making, which you will be taught by an extremely skillful Hmong woman. Afterwards, the Shaman of the village will be pleased to answer all your questions regarding the local belief in Shamanism.

Later, we will transfer you in a local truck to the close-by village of Baan Muang Karn, from where you will board a local boat and cruise down the famed Mekong River to the city of Chiang Khong. You will enjoy your lunch today in a local restaurant right by the river.

After lunch, our guide will walk with you through parts of this charming border town, and you will visit two temples on the way, before heading to the village of Ban Had Krai, where you will meet with local fishermen who have seen and caught the famed Giant Catfish, and who will be pleased to share their unique stories with you.

As a last stop before arriving back to the lodge, you will visit the temple Wat Phra That Jom Meng on a mountain top with a most scenic view over the Mekong River basin and Laos.

Arrive back in the lodge in time to relax and prepare for another meal showcasing the unique flavors of the local cuisine.

Overnight at Lanjia Lodge

+ Guide & Driver
+ Meal: Breakfast, Lunch
+ Excursion: continue visiting surrounding area of the lodge before transferring to Chiang Rai airport to take the departure flight
+ Accommodation: None
+ Pick-up: 08:00AM

After breakfast, we will take a local truck and visit a small waterfall, where you have the opportunity to swim in your own pool in the middle of a tropical forest. We will bring along a wonderful picnic lunch for you to enjoy, before returning to the lodge in the early afternoon, we will take a short visit to the Organic Tea Farm, producing the famous Oolong tea, said to heaven array of healing effects on your body.

We will serve you refreshment at Lanjia Lodge, before the transfer to the airport in Chiang Rai to take the departure flight