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 hill tribe village of Ban Longlao; then trek to Kuang Si to refresh in the afternoon
+ 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: 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: Chanthavinh Resort
+ 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 at Chanthavinh Resort, which locates at the other sides of Mekong river, in the peaceful village of Ban Chan, the best spot for us to spend the last night in Laos

+ Guide & Driver
+ Meal: Breakfast, lunch
+ Excursion: City visit & Airport transfer
+ Accommodation: None
+ Pick-up: 08:30PM

After breakfast, we take the boat back to Luang Prabang to visit some main attractions in Luang Prabang.

We will first ascend 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. From there, you will visit Royal Palace Museum, which was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family.
Your city tour continues 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.
We then transfer out to the airport to take the departure flight