Houei Xai, Bokeo, Laos

Itinerary

On arrival at HoueiSay in Laos from Chiang Khong (Thailand), we embark on our traditional boat cruising downstream on the Mekong River. This part of the Mekong River is quite narrow and both banks of the rivers are bordered by amazing scenery of beautiful green forests and towering hills. The pace is very relaxed as we drift along the river in our boat, a perfect way to observe rural life close up. Along the way, we stop over at Ban Houeilampen to visit the Hmong hilltribe people. They are very poor, but have a vibrant culture and an interesting history, overnight in Pakbeng. (B)
We have an early start visiting the hill tribe market before leaving Pakbeng; we then begin our expedition, venturing into the mountainous and remote area in Northern Laos. The verdant and rugged mountain scenery combined with the colorful local population makes this an unforgettable experience. Oudomxay province is residence to a mixture of 23 ethnic minority groups. We make a few rest stops along the way, which gives you the opportunity to see the ethnic minority groups of Hmong, Khmu, Akha and Taidam. The hill tribe people are unfailingly friendly; welcoming you with waving hands and smilling faces. The journey to Nong Khiow leads us through areas with dramatic landscape. We will also visit the hilltribe villages of Hmong at Ban Jarong, Ban Songja, Khmu before arriving at Nong Khiow in late afternoon. Nong Khiow is a remote village situated by the banks of the river, across a dramatic valley the surrounding mountainous scenery is stunning. Overnight in Nong Khiow (B)
After breakfast we board a traditional boat downstream on the Nam Ou River, drifting along the peaceful river, stopping over to visit some timeless villages along the way. Our journey takes us to Pak Ou, where the Nam Ou River meets with Mekong River. We take a visit to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. We continue our trip down to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Luang Prabang. This former royal capital with its gleaming temple roofs, fading colonial architecture and stunning mountain backdropretains a unique charm rarely found in all of Asia. A visit to Luang Prabang would be incomplete without ascending 329 steps to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa and to enjoy a beautiful sunset view of the city and its glowing reflection on the Mekong River. From there, we explore the Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textile made by local and hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang (B)
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. After breakfast, we explore this charming city. From 1353 until 1545 it was the capital of the Lane Xang kingdom before power was transferred to Vientiane. Despite the move Luang Prabang remained as the seat in the monarchy and when the kingdom broke up in 1694, one of the deceased king’s grandsons established a rival kingdom to those in Vientiane and Champassak. Though weakened, the Luang Prabang royalty endured until 1975, when after the reign of 63 kings it was formally dissolved. You will spend the day exploring the temples and sites in what is called one of the last Shangri-La’s of Southeast Asia. You will visit Wat Xiang Thong, the most important Buddhist monastery in the country, Wat Visoun, Wat Khili and Wat Mai. Later, we visit the former Royal Palace, now a National Museum (close Tuesday) where you will find ornate, gilded and brocaded reception rooms, as well as Buddha and spectacular artefacts including the Prabang, a large holy image, which was given in the 14th century by the Khmers to King Fa Ngum. Overnight in Luang prabang (B)
After breakfast, we leave this charming city in the early morning for our journey to Vang Vieng. Our journey will be strenuous as we drive along one of the most scenic but also one of the roughest routes in Asia. In the afternoon we arrive in Vang Vieng, a small and tranquil town, which is nestled on a bend of the Nam Song River. Its stunning scenery with a mixture of quiet water and limestone outcrops remains unspoiled, despite recent developments with the advent of tourism. We visit Tham Hoy Cave, a large cave that runs 7 kilometres deep and surrounding hilltribe villages of Khmu and Hmong. Overnight in Vang Vieng (B)
After breakfast, we spend half our day driving to the capital city Vientiane, which is located on the banks of the Mekong River. Vientiane is a charming and fascinating capital, with an interesting mix of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, Soviet and American influences. A city tour acquaints us with the capital and after a short rest if time permits we start visiting some of the major sights; including the oldest temple Wat Sisaket, 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 precious heritage, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, you will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. Overnight in Vientiane (B)
Early morning, we head out to the southern Lao capital Lakxao, driving on the 13thsouth; we experience smooth roads to central Laos and change for route no.8, which is a major trading route and one of the routes of the famous Ho Chi Minh Trail. On the way, we visit local villages and enjoy the great scenery of the surrounding limestone mountains and an overview of the peaceful landscape on Nam Theun River. Lakxao is located near the Laos – Vietnam border gates, and once we arrive, stroll around this little town and browse the local market. Overnight in Lakxao (B)
This morning, you will be transferred to the border between Laos and Vietnam (B)
luang prabang tour

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Tour type: Daily Tour
Duration: 8 days
Maximum number of people: 30
Location: Laos
Rate:
Adults:
Children (Age 7-10):
(charge 70% )
Children (Age 3-6):
(charge 50% )

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