Day 1: Vientiane – Airport to Hotel Transfer
Upon arrival you will be met by your guide and driver and transferred to your hotel.
Overnight: Vientiane

Day 2: Vientiane – City Tour and Buddha Park
An optional early start enables you to visit the fascinating local market of Thongkhankham which is where the locals shop and where a wide variety of weird and wonderful foods are on offer. We continue to explore the city by visiting the oldest temple in Vientiane, Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues, and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which now serves as a museum of arts and antiques. We then travel up Lanexang Avenue where you will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxai Monument, which resembles its Parisian inspiration, the Arc de Triomphe. The climb to the top offers great views over Vientiane. We continue onwards down Rue Singha 23 to Laos’ National icon and most important religious building; the golden stupa of That Luang. The final visit of the morning will be the excellent COPE exhibition center, highlighting a much overlooked aspect of Laos and a major problem many of the local people face on a day-to-day; unexploded ordnance as a result of heavy bombing campaigns during the Vietnam War area.
In the afternoon we visit the quirky yet impressive Buddha Park, an enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures on the banks of the Mekong River. By no means historic, Buddha Park was built in the 1950’s by a self-styled ‘holy man’ – the park features some very photogenic and unusual sculptures, including a huge reclining Buddha, and a giant pumpkin. Upon returning to Vientiane we have the option of stopping at the Lao Disabled Womens Center, which provides valuable training and schooling for disabled women in Laos. The women here are friendly, and it’s interesting to have a chat with them to find out about their lives. A spectacular view of the Mekong River at sunset is a perfect way to finish the day.
Overnight: Vientiane

Day 3: Vientiane – Hin Boun
You will be picked up this morning from your hotel and transferred south along route 13 to the central Lao province of Khammoune. En route we stop at Prabaht Ponsan, a stupa dating back to the 15th Century. It is also said to be home to the Budhha’s footprint, left when, as legend has it, he was crossing the Mekong. Following lunch we make a stop at the interesting Ban Ton Na Mae Hmong Market, then continue onwards into Khammoune province and into the mountainous area, where a stop at a view point near Khoun Kham offers a breathtaking view over the karst scenery, or ‘limestone forest’. We arrive at your accommodation by mid-afternoon where you have the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight: Hin Boun

Day 4: Hin Boun – River Cruise and Kong Lor Cave
After breakfast at your lodge, we board a private boat and cruise up the Hin Boun River. We pass through several riverside villages and take in the stunning limestone karst scenery before reaching the entrance of Kong Lor Cave. Here we board a smaller local boat into the famous Kong Lor Cave. We navigate through the cave, which is over 7 km long and includes a spectacular cavern over 100 m high, as well as a breathtaking stalagmite gallery which you can explore on foot. On the other side of the cave, we take a short walk past some tobacco drying huts to Ban Pon Ngam, a remote village. In the afternoon we return through the cave by boat, and transfer directly by car to back to your accommodation, arriving there by mid-afternoon, where you have the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight: Hin Boun

Day 5: Hin Boun – Muang Khoun – Phonsavan
We depart early morning (7 a.m.) for the long drive along the backroads of Laos. Our first stop is Ban Thabuk, the ‘bomb boat village’ which technically are actually fuel tanks from the Vietnam War used as boats. We continue through rolling countryside scenery, stopping to admire the Nam Mouan River before arriving at Ban Thasi for lunch.
In the afternoon we begin our climb up into the mountains and stop at a number of minority villages, including the Tai Lu weaving village, and at a Hmong village. Late afternoon, we arrive at the ancient town of Muang Khoun, the former provincial capital, where you can explore the ruins of a number of ancient pagodas in the Lanna style and Wat Phiawat, a ruined temple containing a huge sitting Buddha.
We arrive in Phonsavan by early evening.
Overnight: Phonsavan

Day 6: Phonsavan – Plain of Jars Tour
This morning we visit the interesting Central Market, as well as the Mines Action Group (or MAG) office to learn about the important work they do in clearing land mines and unexploded ordnance in the area. We then drive out to the picturesque Jar Site 2, and begin a 1-hour trek along the ridge to Jar Site 3, consisting over around 150 jars located on top of a hill, offering great views. In the afternoon we visit Jar Site 1, the largest site, containing over 300 jars, before returning to your hotel by late afternoon.
Overnight: Phonsavan

Day 7: Phonsavan – Sam Neua by Road
We begin our long drive today starting early in the morning along some fairly rough roads, but the journey is broken up with stops at Hmong and Khmu villages, as well as giving time to admire the breathtaking scenery with a series of photo stops. In the afternoon we visit Hintang. Here we can see the mysterious menhirs (standing stones). No one is quite sure who built them or why, perhaps as burial sites or markers of some sort. We also stop at Ban Sa Levy, a Tai Phong weaving village. We arrive in Sam Neua early evening.
Overnight: Sam Neua

Day 8: Sam Neua – Vieng Xai Caves and Surrounding Areas
We begin the day with an optional short walk around Sam Neua town, including a visit to a weaving house showroom. This area is highly regarded for its weaving products, particularly the traditional Lao skirt or ‘Sin’. We also take a walk along the river to visit the local wet market. We then set off on the short 45-minute drive to Vieng Xai Caves, stopping at the village of Ban Na Taen en route. Vieng Xai Caves is where the Pathet Lao leaders lived during the “Secret War’. We start our fascinating audio tour, which includes a visit to the Kaysone Phomvihane (the leader of the Lao communist movement) Cave, and the Prince Soupanouvong (the ‘Red Prince’) Cave. We finish with the Artillery Cave that offers stunning views over the surrounding countryside. In the afternoon, we take an easy walk to some of the little-visited caves and have an opportunity to take in the beautiful limestone karst scenery. We return to Sam Neua by late afternoon.
Overnight: Sam Neua

Day 9: Sam Neua – Ban Son Koua – Night Safari in Nam Et National Park
After an early morning breakfast, we leave Sam Neua (at 7 a.m.) for the 3-hour drive to the village of Ban Son Koua. Here we board a long tail boat and cruise for 1½ hours on the Nam Nern River to the park headquarters where you will enjoy a lunch prepared by the villagers, and learn about conservation and management from the park staff.
By mid-afternoon we depart for the night safari, stopping along the way at a salt lick, where your local guide, a skilled hunter and tracker, identifies animal tracks. After sunset, relax around a campfire and enjoy a BBQ dinner. A couple of hours after dark we float down the river quietly while your local guide looks for wildlife by torchlight. Approximately 2 hours later we will arrive back at the park headquarters. Your accommodation for the night is in traditional Lao style huts in the forest.
Overnight in Nam Et National Park

Day 10: Night Safari in Nam Et National Park (Day 2) – Nong Khiaw
Before breakfast we rise early to explore the jungle where local guides will teach you about medicinal plants and explain the history of the area. After breakfast we take the boat back to Ban Son Koua, making a stop at a prime spot for bird watching. We continue by road to Vieng Thong, then onto Nong Khiaw, arriving there around sunset.
Overnight in Nong Khiaw

Day 11: Nong Khiaw – Muang Ngoi – Trekking to visit Minority Villages
After breakfast at your hotel, we board a local boat for a short cruise up the Nam Ou River for about 1 hour to Muang Ngoi. Here your local village guide will meet you and we begin an easy day trek, taking in a Khmu minority village, some beautiful paddy field scenery and a Thai Daeng ethnic village. We return back to Muang Ngoi, where you can bathe in the river to cool down at the end of the day as the locals do. We then return to Nong Khiaw by boat, arriving there by early evening.
Overnight in Nong Khiaw

Day 12: Nong Khiaw – Luang Prabang by Road
This morning we head south by road to Luang Prabang. The morning drive brings us out into rolling countryside where you can admire the beauty of the Nam Ou River and the surrounding rice paddy fields. Along the way we stop to visit the mysterious caves of Pak Ou, two caves set in a limestone cliff facing the Mekong River crammed with thousands Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes. We arrive in Luang Prabang by lunchtime where you have the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Luang Prabang

Day 13: Luang Prabang – Tak Bat and Half-day City Tour
You can discuss with your guide your preference regarding the optional early morning start (5:30 a.m.) to witness and partake in the daily morning ritual of ‘Tak Bat’ or giving alms to the monks. This is a unique ritual still followed by the locals in Luang Prabang. We can also visit the local fresh market to see how the locals shop, before returning to your hotel for breakfast.
Your half-day city tour starts with a visit to the quaint Royal Palace Museum, which gives a good overview of the local history. Our next stop is Wat Visoun, known as ‘The Water Melon Stupa’ due to its shape. Next we visit the magnificent Wat Xiengthong, with its roof sweeping low to the ground, representing the classical Luang Prabang style. We also visit the excellent Arts and Ethnology Centre which gives us a great insight into the ethnic mix and culture of Laos.
The afternoon is at leisure.
Overnight in Luang Prabang

Day 14: Luang Prabang – Half-day at the Kuang Si Waterfall
After breakfast, we visit Ock Pop Tock, a silk weaving center. Here you will be given a guided tour and the silk weaving process will be explained in detail. We then drive out of the town where you have the option of stopping to visit Khmu, Hmong and Lao Loum villages, representing the main ethnic groups of Laos. This then takes us to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the turquoise pool or walk along the forest trails. Next to the falls is a Bear Rescue Centre, which does a great job of protecting and rehabilitating the rare Asiatic Black Bear. We then return to Luang Prabang by lunchtime.
Overnight in Luang Prabang

Day 15: Luang Prabang – Departure
After breakfast, you may have time at leisure before transferring to the airport for your departure flight.

Ready. Set. Go!