LAOS SOFT ADVENTURE

Code: LA-SA-SA10 Duration: 10 days Theme: Soft Adventure

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Exploring the city of Vientiane, the least developed capital city of Southeast Asia
  • Trekking inside Phou Khaokhuay, the nearest NPA of Vientiane, to find and learn about Lao orchid
  • Enjoying the gentle Nam Song with the kayaking experience
  • Nature & culture experience during the visit to Luang Prabang
  • Experience the life of Khmu tribe, sleeping in the safari tent built in the middle of nowhere

TOUR ROUTE

Vientiane – Phou Khaokhuay – Kayaking in Vang Vieng – Vang Vieng – Luang Prabang – Kamu Lodge – Luang Prabang

+ Guide & Driver
+ Meal: Welcome dinner
+ Excursion: visit the main sites inside the city
+ Accommodation: Hotel in Vientiane

+ Arrival Flight: TBA

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

After a soft rest, we will first visit the major sights of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket, the temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. On the way to Lao’s national icon, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, we stop enroute to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph.

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

You are then free for the rest of the day to troll around the town for your own exploration. Overnight in Vientiane

+ Guide & driver
+ Meal: Breakfast, lunch
+ Excursion: visiting Phou Khaokhuay; soft trek to explore the wild Lao orchid.
+ Accommodation: Hotel in Vientiane
+ Pick-up: 07:15AM

An early morning departure at 7:30am for the National Park at Phou Khao Khuay, the closest national protected area to Vientiane. You will discover the National Park under the expert guidance of a French orchid specialist who will tell you all about the different plants and wildlife.
You arrive in the village of Ban Hatkhay at around 9:30am where you will be joined by two local guides with your freshly made Lao picnic. The Orchid Trek begins at Pha Say with its stunning view across a 40m deep gorge and the dense jungle. You follow narrow, shaded trails and discover the different types of forest in the park: semi-deciduous, tropical and bamboo – extraordinary, unspoilt habitats. You have the chance to learn about the medicinal uses of the forest plants and also the other plant types that abound in the forest. You take your picnic lunch in a dry river bed (depending on the season).
Your afternoon continues with a pleasant stroll to the waterfall at Tad Say before making your return to the village. You may be lucky and see some the colourful butterflies and birds that live in the forest.
Return to Vientiane is at around 6:00pm. Overnight stay at your hotel.

+ Guide & Driver
+ Meal: Breakfast, lunch
+ Excursion: transfer to Vang Vieng, visit the fresh Blue Lagoon near Tham Phoukham. Enjoy the late afternoon cruise along Nam Song river whilst the sun is setting behind the mountains
+ 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, picnic lunch
+ Excursion: kayaking along Nam Song river, and explore the caves system in Vang Vieng
+ Accommodation: hotel in Vang Vieng
+ Pick-up: 08:30AM

 

We will transfer to Phatang Resort around 18 km north of Vang Vieng. After an introduction to the basics of kayaking we shall set off down the beautiful Nam Song river which offers various small but fun rapids along the way to our first stop at Tham Xang Cave. Here we will walk up to the massive theater like cave while hearing about local history about the area!

After emerging from the cave, a short kayaking will lead us to a picnic spot on the riverside where we shall enjoy lunch. After lunch we shall continue down the river until the next stop at the Organic Farm where mulberry tea and a variety of different fruit wines are produced.

Continuing downstream we arrive at Tham None Cave which is one of the largest caves in Vang Vieng! It served as a bomb shelter for local villagers during the Second Indochina War. However, today it is home to a bat family and the ‘Magic Stone of Vang Vieng’. The final leg of the journey is a gentle paddle downstream to Vang Vieng where we shall arrive just in time to catch the sunset.

Approximately: 15minutes transfer, 4.5 hours (wet season) 3.5 hours (dry season) kayaking, 1.5 hour caving/walking

+ Guide & Driver
+ Meal: Breakfast, lunch
+ Excursion: visit the famous cave of Tham Jang before transferring to Luang Prabang
+ Accommodation: hotel in Luang Prabang
+ Pick-up: 08:30AM

 

In the morning, we will first stroll around the town to visit the local market to catch a glimpse of everyday life in a typical Lao rural area.
After breakfast, we 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. We also have chance to admire the panoramic view over the surrounding area at the peak of more than 2000m. 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 the city of Luang Prabang; and resfresh at Kuang Si
+ Accommodation: hotel in Luang Prabang
+ Pick-up: 08:30AM

 

After breakfast, we visit Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts.  Our next stop in the city is the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. We will also take a look at the Traditional Art & Ethnology Center to learn about the many Lao ethnic groups.
We then transfer to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the pools or walk along the forest trails. You have the rest of the afternoon to refresh at the waterfalls. If you wish, we also see up close Asiatic bears at the Bear Rescue Centre along the jungle walk to the waterfall.
Arriving in Luang Prabang, we ascend the 329 steps to the top of Phousi Hill for a beautiful sunset view of the city and its glowing reflection on the Mekong River. Overnight in Luang Prabang

+ Guide & Driver
+ Meal: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
+ Excursion: cruise upstream the Mekong river to Kamu Lodge; visit Pak Ou caves along the way. Experience the real life of a Khmu tribe.
+ Accommodation: safari tent at Kamu Lodge
+ Pick-up: 08:15AM

 

Wake up as the sun rises, we will prepare to join the most sacred tradition of Laos, the daily morning alms giving, which dates to the 14th century. More than 200 Buddhist monks depart from various temple to gather their daily meal from the faithful residents sitting quietly on the streets.
From there, we will visit the temporary morning market near the former Royal Palace. Just set on the ground, the local people come here to barter their day’s catch from rice, to vegetable, to fish, or chicken. This is the best chance to experience the flavor of local life

After breakfast at the hotel, board on a traditional Long River boat at Kamu Lodge pier at 08:30am and take a leisurely cruise upstream while enjoying the refreshments served on the boat.
Marvel at the thousands of gold Buddha statues placed in sacred Pak Ou caves by devotees. Most people failed to marvel at Pak Ou towering limestone cliff.
Continue upriver and you would reach Kamu Lodge around noon. A Refreshing welcome drink is served. You can check into your super-size tents with attached modern bathroom amenities and facilities. You will enjoy lunch in an airy SALA settled in the middle of rice paddy fields.
After lunch, you can choose to either relax or to enjoy the traditional Kamu lifestyles and activities such as rice planting and harvesting in surrounding rice fields, gold panning in the Mekong (anything you find is Yours!), traditional fishing techniques (you can sample your catch for dinner!), visit of the Kamu village, archery contest.
Dinner is a feast by Kamu tribe standards. We want you to see the world from the Kamu’s eyes.
After dinner, retire to your tent.

+ Guide & Driver
+ Meal: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
+ Excursion: trek to explore the hidden waterfalls
+ Accommodation: safari tent at Kamu Lodge
+ Pick-up: 08:15AM

After breakfast, you will have the opportunity to go for a 4-hour trek in the surrounding forest to the waterfall (trekking grade: moderate/challenging). You will enjoy a picnic lunch to the waterfall. On your way back to the Lodge, you will visit one village along the Mekong River.
In the afternoon, you will have time to relax enjoying leisure activities available on site such as bathe in the Mekong, one hour Lao traditional massage, “petanque” contest (…)
Dinner is served at the restaurant.
After Dinner, you can retire to your tent.

+ Guide & Driver
+ Meal: Breakfast, lunch
+ Excursion: continue exploring the lodge and surrounding area before taking the cruise back to Luang Prabang
+ Accommodation: Nam Ou Riverside
+ Pick-up: 14:00PM

In the morning, you are free to stroll around the lodge or the nearby village. We will take the boat back to Luang Prabang after lunch.
The boat will drop us in Ban Pak Ou, where we will hop on the short transfer to Nam Ou Riverside, our stop for the night

+ Driver only
+ Meal: Breakfast, lunch
+ Excursion: Airport transfer
+ Accommodation: None
+ Pick-up: 3 hours before the flight

You are free to stroll around the resort and the nearby village for your own exploration, or just relax by the inviting pool before taking the departure flight