Discover Northern & Central Laos

  • Destinations: Luang Prabang, Northern Laos, Plain of Jars, Vientiane
  • Duration: 20 days
  • Type: Culture & History, Minorities, Nature, River Cruise, Trekking, Week or Longer

The north of Laos is mostly known for its beautiful scenery and diverse ethnic minority population. In this tour you will visit many remote areas, where hill tribe people still live as they have done for thousands of years. With your guide as your translator you will really have a chance to interact with them and learn about their lives. There will be many rides, boat trips and treks through beautiful landscapes. And ofcourse you will see all the must see attractions of northern and central Laos, like: the capital Vientiane, the mysterious Plain of Jars and World Heritage city Luang Prabang.

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Day 1

Arrival in Vientiane – Optional Program

Welcome to Vientiane! With a population of almost 1 milion this is the biggest city in Laos. After arrival in Vientiane airport, and completion of customs & immigration formalities, transfer to your hotel. Then enjoy one of our optional activities, or go out and explore the capital at your leisure. Overnight in Vientiane.

Optional program:

Day 2

Vientiane City Tour

After breakfast, enjoy city tours visiting 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 previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. On the way to the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, we stop to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. Over night in Vientiane.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Optional program (late afternoon):

Day 3

Fly to Phonsavan – Plain of Jars – Hill Tribe Villages

After breakfast, relax until your flight time to take a short flight to Phonsavan, which was devastated by American bombing between 1964 and 1973. Upon arrival, we transfer out to visit the Plain of Jars, an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are littered all over the plateau. We also have time, this afternoon seeing the old capital of Muang Khoun Province and the nearby villages, home to the Hmong hill tribe and Tai Dam people. They have an interesting local culture and a colorful history. Overnight in Phonsavan.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4

Scenic Drive to Luang Prabang

Early morning, we visit Central Market of Phonsavanh to watch different Hill Tribes to barter and exchange merchandises. Then heading out the this small town to Luang Prabang about 30 6KM, on the way, we drop off and see a site more than 200 years old Buddha images in Thampra and varied Hmong and varied hill tribe minority villages along the road. They are nice, friendly and welcome you to visit. After a photo stop, we continue driving up hill, enjoying mountain splendid natural scenery, forest and landscape. After a tea or coffee break at Sala Phoukhoun, where the T-junction of bordering meets Vientiane-Xiengkhouang-Luang Prabang. The journey will take us over mountainous region to Luang Prabang. 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. Overnight at Luang Prabang.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5

World Heritage Tour

After breakfast, we start seeing the National Museum at the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of the artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign, visit impressive stupa of Wat Visoun, the shrine of Wat Mai, the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represent the classical architecture of Luang Prabang temple. We then climb up to the top of Phousi Mount for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a beautiful sunset view of the city and the Mekong River. From there, we explore Street Night Market, where you can find the lovely collection and handmade textile by local and hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6

Minority Villages – Kuang Si Waterfall

This morning you may want to wake up early and participate in the daily early morning ritual of saffron-clad monks with their black Alms-giving bowls being given offerings from the local people, including the ubiquitous sticky rice.

After breakfast, you will visit the morning Phosi Market where you will see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings. Laos is also known for its traditional crafts, and today you will visit the Ban Ouay, Hmong Hill tribe, Ban Ou, Lowland Lao and Ban Thapene of Khmu village. Continue driving to the beautiful Kuangsi Waterfall where you can splash around in the pools or walk along the forest paths, return to Luang Prabang by late afternoon and continue to Ban Phanom, a well known weaving village, return to the city by late evening for observing the sunset at Wat Siphouthabath. Overnight in Luang Prabang
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Optional program (evening):

Day 7

Mekong River Boat Experience – Pak Ou Buddha Caves

After breakfast, we board a boat embarking upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a beautiful view of the tranquil countryside as well as an interesting visit to Nong Khiua about 5 hour. En route short visit the mysterious of Pak Ou Caves, crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes. Along the way, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where they make the local rice wine. Arrive in Nong Khiau checking at your bungalow.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 8

Mekong River Boat Trip to Secluded Village

After breakfast, taking a photo at Nong Khiau Bridge, then begin a traditional boat trip upto Meuang Ngoy along Ou River 1h & half. Upon arrival, check in at your guesthouse. Then exploring the small town with guide. This is a very nice, unspoilt site, only reachable by boat. Overnight at Lattana Guest House in Meuang Ngoy.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 9

Light Trekking to War Cave

After breakfast, We start a short trek, around 3h, to Kang Cave and local villages near by through buffalos trails. Locals used the cave as their hidden place during the Indochina War. You can some some ramain exploded bombs displayed infront of your guesthouse. Late afternoon return to the town. Overnight at the same hotel in Meuang Ngoy.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 10

Boat Trip to Muang Khoa – Explore Villages

After breakfast, continue by boat upstream to Meuang Khoa along Ou River. En route short visit Sopcheang Village, known as Lao Terng & Hmong people live there. Their main income is from selling seasonal crops and some from trapping wildlife and fish. Arrive in Muang Khoa, check in at your hotel. Exploring around the small town with your guide. Overnight in Meuang Khoa.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 11

Drive to Phongsaly – Explore Around Town

After breakfast, we are driving ahead about 7hour to Phongsaly, known as the most northern province of Laos. En route stop at Ban Bountai, known for the French colonial era. You can see French building remain there. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel. Exproing around the town with your guide. There are many ethnic minority people living there. Mostly from te hill tribes: Hmong, Yao, and Thai Phou Noi. They mostly speak Chinese, because of nearest bordering with the Chinese border. Overnight in Phongsaly.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 12

Light Trekking to Minority Villages

After breakfast, start a light trek around the town with your guide about 4hour. Visit Thai Dam, Thai Deang, Yao, Hor, then trek to to Ban Hmong, where villagers produce Lao White & Blue Whisky. Late afternoon, driver pick you and return to the town for relax. Overnight in Phongsaly.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 13

Drive to Udomxai – Explore Town – Visit Markets

After breakfast, drive to Udomxai about 300 KM along red road. Arrive in Udomxay, check in and visit Chinese Market, and local Hmong Markets. Climb up hill, located in the hear centre of town. Take a photo and return to hotel. Overnight in Udomxai.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 14

Drive to Luang Namtha – Stop at Chinese Border – Ha River Boat Trip

After breakfast, drive to our next destination about 130KM. En route stop at Lao-Chinese Border Gate at Boten, where the huge Casino in Laos is based. Arrive in Laung Namtha, check in and take a boat trip along Ha River, the main river of the town, visit Lao Huay, Kamou. Both side of the river is natural. Late evening return to your hotel.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 15

Trekking in National Park – Visit Hill Tribe Villages

After breakfast, we drive out of town, then start trekking about 5-6 hours around the provincial park to Ban Lantane, Ban Lao Huay, Khamou hill tribes, then our driver will pick up you in other route and return to the town by late evening. Overnight in Luang Namtha.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 16

Scenic Drive to Meuang Sing – Explore Town

After breakfast, we continue by land to Meuang Sing about 70 KM along mountainous landscape. Enroute short stop at hill tribe vilage, knwon as Lantan, and Ikor. Meuang Sing is one main district in northern of Luang Namtha province and remoted area. So you can see old house, not modern style. Mostly are farmers. You can see many hill tribes there. After check in at your hotel exploring around the town with your guide. Overnight at Singchalern hotel in Meuang Sing.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 17

Visit Market – Light Trekking to Hill Tribe Villages

Early morning visit Fresh Hill tribe market where locals sell mountainous vegetables, some wildlife. Return to hotel for breakfast before start soft trekking to hill tribe village, visit Lao Huay, Ikor, Akha and Hmong Village. You can talk with those hill tribes about their daily lives but not allow to take their pictures if not asking permmission from them. Later afternoon return to the town. Overnight at the same hotel in Meuang Sing.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 18

Free Day to Explore Town

Today you’re free to explore the remoted area on your own. Overnight at same hotel.
Meals included: breakfast

Day 19

Drive to Huayxay – Explore Border Town – Bicycle Along Khong River

Today we are driving back to Luang Namtha and continue to Huayxay about 265KM. En route stop at Lao Terng ethnic, taking photos with those people about their daily living condition. Their main income from hunting and planting rice and seasonal crops on the mountain. Arrive in Huaxay by later afternoon, check in at your hotel. Exploring around the small town with you guide by bicycle along Khong River. Those locals usually do not use kip. Baht is very important note for them because of nearest bordering with Thailand. Overnight in Huayxay.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 20

End of Tour

Today, say goodbye Laos and take a boat cross to Chieng Khong for your next destination.
Meals included: breakfast


Accomodation in the following 3-star hotels is included in the package price.
Please contact us if you have other wishes.

Hotels

Location Name Rating
Vientiane Bea Rivage Mekong Hotel
Phonsavan Vansana Hotel
Luang Prabang Lao Wooden House
Nongkiau Nongkiau River Side
Meuang Ngoy Lattana Guest House
Meuang Khoa Chernly Hotel
Phongsaly Local Hotel
Udomxai Udomkham Hotel
Luang Namtha The Boat Landing
Meuang Sing Singchalern Hotel
Huayxay Thaveesinh Hotel

The pricing for this tour varies according to group size and time of year.

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Package includes:

- All land transfers
- All Private boat trips as mentioned in program
- English speaking guide
- Trekking package in Luang Namtha
- Meals as listed in the program
- Accommodations
- Lao Tax

Payment policy

Deposit 20% of total amount after confirmation of the tour packages.
Total payment should be made 25 days before tour start.

Cancellation policy

Less than 30 days: 20 % charge
Less than 20 days: 40 % charge
Less than 15 days: 50 % charge
Less than one week: 70 % of the tour price
No show: 100% charge

Child policy

Under 24 months old:
sharing twin room with 2 adults in the same bed is free of charge (if an extra bed is needed, charge is as described below).

02-12 years:
sharing twin room with 2 adults – 25% discount for an extra bed and breakfast and 50% discount without extra bed and breakfast