Northern Laos Highlights

Northern Laos Highlights is a 6 day classic itinerary we arrange in the north Laos. Start the trip in Luang Prabang, you travel down south to Xieng Khouang and finishes your vacation in Vientiane.

Trip Description & Day-by-day Itinerary

Northern Laos Highlights is a 6 day classic itinerary we arrange in the north Laos. Start the trip in Luang Prabang, you travel down south to Xieng Khouang and finishes your vacation in Vientiane.

Itinerary

DAY 1: ARRIVE LUANG PRABANG

You will be met by our staff and transferred to your hotel. Luang Prabang is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. The tranquility and charm of this town with its splendid natural scenery and cultural sights make it one of the most delightful places to visit in Laos. We’ll visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrines of Wat Aham and Wat Mai; we then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi to explore the sacred, gilded stupa as well as capture a beautiful view of the city and the Mekong River at sunset. From there, we visit the Night Market, where you can browse through a lovely selection of handmade textiles. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

DAY 2: PAK OU CAVE & KHOUANGSI WATERFALLS

An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning alms giving to saffron-clad monks. This tradition is unique to Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving this procession. Later in the morning we go to Phosi Market, which has an eclectic selection of foodstuffs and souvenirs.

AM: We’ll enjoy a short-guided tour of the city’s oldest temple, Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong where you can see the impressive “tree of life” mosaic set in colored glass. We then board an upstream cruise on the Mekong River, which gives us a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside. We’ll make sure to stop at the Pak Ou Caves, sanctuaries consisting of two large caverns, both repositories for thousands of Buddha images. We will also stop at a few villages during the day, including Ban Xanghai where the local rice wine is produced. We return to Luang Prabang in the afternoon after seeing Ban Phanom, a village well known for its hand weaving.

PM: We continue our excursion towards Khouangsi Waterfall, stopping to visit some ethnic minority villages and see how these colorful people live. Once at the falls you can swim in the turquoise pools or walk along forest paths. We return to Luang Prabang by late afternoon and continue to Ban Xangkong, a village well known for silk hand weaving and making traditional Saa Paper. For sunset, we’ll sit and relax at Wat Phabath. Overnight in Luang Prabang .

DAY 3: LUANG PRABANG -> XIENG KHOUANG

After breakfast we visit The National Museum (closed Tuesday) at the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture throughout the ages. Today we leave this charming town and drive to Xieng Khouang, an area once devastated by American bombings. These back roads are a great way to have an authentic Laos experience. We’ll see very few other travelers, just mostly rural dwellers who are just as interested in us as we are about them! The drive is long, but we’ll make sure to stop and have a few photo ops. In the afternoon there will be time to see the old capital in Muang Khoun Province and the nearby villages. Overnight in Xieng Khouang.

DAY 4: XIENG KHOUANG – VIENTIANE

Following breakfast at the hotel, we transfer out to visit the Plain of Jars, an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are littered throughout the plateau. We then board a short flight to the charming and fascinating Lao capital of Vientiane. On arrival we check into our hotel. After short rest, we will visit the Morning Market and the weaving village of Ban Nong Bouathong. Overnight in Vientiane .

DAY 5: VIENTIANE CITY TOUR

Today we begin to see the major sights of the capital, including Wat Sisaket, which contains more than 8000 Buddha statues, Wat Ho Prakeo the former home of the Emerald Buddha statue and That Luang Stupa, the single most important monument in Laos. We also see the Patuxay (Lao Arc de Triomphe), which was built in commemoration of those who died during past wars and today it is the city’s main landmark.

In the afternoon we transfer out to see Buddha Park, a scattered and enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures near the Friendship Bridge. There are approximately 200 religious images here dating back over 500 years. Observing the spectacular sunset view over the Mekong River is a perfect way to finish the day. Overnight in Vientiane.

DAY 6: DEPARTURE

After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our departure flight.

Additional Information

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Vientiane

Adventure Level

Itinerary Disclaimer

Occasionally our tour itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travelers’ comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the service proposal. It’s very important that you print and review a final copy of your itinerary a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact us. We are here to help you!

Please note that while we operate successful trips in Vietnam throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

Inclusions

Our trip cost usually includes the following services. Please bear in mind LOTUSSIA Travel is specialized in tailor-made trips. Trip cost vary depending on group size and other details.

  • Car transfers.
  • Local tour guide. The English-Speaking guide is provided by default. Other language may be available upon request (with extra charge).
  • Local porter(s).
  • Accommodation.
  • Meals.
  • Entrance fees.
  • Bottled water.

Exclusions

Unless required most of the following services are usually not included in our tour price.

  • Visa
  • Flight/Train tickets.
  • Accommodation pre/post trip.
  • International travel insurance.
  • Tips.
  • Personal expenses.

Tour Guide

Our tour guides speak English or French. They hold a university degree in tourism and national license as a guide. If you wish to send a tour leader along with any group, he or she can fully rely on the knowledge and experience of our local guides.

Remote treks are always accompanied by a local representative to deal with permits and authorities and manage the porter team. They speak the local dialects, know the cultural traditions and give tips on suggested behavior in fragile ecological areas and tribal communities. For some itineraries, the role of tour leader and representative is combined.

Trip Routes

Principally, LOTUSSIA Travel requires all the trip associates to know the destinations well by any means of traveling or enquiry to the local suppliers to figure out all the relative details of any trip. For adventure tours such as jungle trekking, mountain hiking, sea kayaking, river rafting or biking, cycling tours, LOTUSSIA Travel will never add any new routes into available schedule until survey or pre-view it.

Accommodation

LOTUSSIA Travel carefully choose all the hotels, guest-houses or homestays based on service quality, location, and characteristics, doing best to make the accommodations in the remote small places as comfortable as possible. Please bear in mind that hotels in Vietnam might not be in the same standard in other country. Generally hotels in major cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city, Hoian, Hue…are much better than hotels and guest-houses in mountainous areas.

Meals

LOTUSSIA Travel take dinning as an indispensable experience to clients since it is an important part in Vietnamese culture. Therefore, LOTUSSIA Travel will not intend take clients to the most expensive restaurants but non-touristy local ones which offer delicious, local food, with nice or interesting atmosphere. The restaurants might be simple in the country but LOTUSSIA Travel guarantee is sanitary and cleanliness. Or even on our trek, we encourage our cook offer client food with new tastes from day to day. During adventure itineraries to mountainous or remote areas, there is sometimes no choice for hotel and restaurants. We will try our best to bring you the best taste of local food.

Drinks

As the tap water in Vietnam is undrinkable, LOTUSSIA Travel recommend clients to drink bottled water throughout your trip, or boiled water on treks. LOTUSSIA Travel offers bottle water all the day, and soft drinks like Cola, Sprite or Vietnamese Tea or if possible juice in restaurants (if mentionned in itinerary). This is not automatically included in the packages. In simple restaurant or on camping, LOTUSSIA Travel offers boiled water, instant coffee or juice, wrapped milk (Details are confirmed in bottom of your itinerary).

Vehicle

In most destinations of Vietnam, all the roads are well paved though the traffic is quite messed up like in Hanoi, Hai Phong… We use proper vehicles, car, minibus or coach in good condition based on the size of the groups. We use 4WD only on the rough road where the other vehicles could not pass through or based on clients requirement on overland journeys or treks. For cycling itineraries, we usually use our support minibus or minibus with support truck. For sea kayaking, river rafting trips, diving packages we use standard boat as support. Detailed information is provided on our service proposal.

We use drivers who are native or local of each travel destination and maintain good safety records for all trips. Most of our drivers can speak English but a little bit. This is just enough to understand basic words such as “time of departure”, “stop”, “restaurants”, “hotels”…If you want to learn more about Vietnamese culture and information about sightseeing sites, booking a tour guide is highly recommended.

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