The best of Laos from the non-touristy, off-the-beaten track south and northwest, to the crown jewel of Luang Prabang
Nestled between Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, Laos is a haven for a kind of simple, unhurried lifestyle that is hard to come by in the more developed nations of the Indochina Peninsula. Designed in conjunction with our guide, Sylvain Curtil, who speaks fluent Lao, this adventure focuses on the pristine, less traveled southern and northwestern corners of the country. In the south, you’ll visit the ruins of grand temples that predate those at Angkor in Cambodia. And in the northwest you’ll enjoy interactions with Khmu and Tái Deng hill tribes who maintain a traditional lifestyle largely unchanged for generations—on a trek where you’re unlikely to see any other westerners. With all this delightful country has to offer, it’s the perfect destination for those making their first trip to Southeast Asia, and for those seeking a new perspective on this exotic region.
12 days of moderate activity, including easy walking, moderate trekking, and easy kayaking.
- Trek beyond the usual tourist destinations of Luang Prabang and Vientiane to witness the hill tribe cultures of Laos’ seldom-visited northwestern corner
- Explore pre-Angkorian temples, like Vat Phou Champasak, which is older and far less touristed than Cambodia’s Angkor
- Search for the endangered Irawaddy dolphin in the Mekong River
- Immerse yourself in the world of Laos' fascinating hill tribes and learn about their culture
Duration: 14 days Start Location: Bangkok End Location: Luang PrabangDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrive in Bangkok (This entire trip is below 6,000' elevation)
Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand.
Day 2 : Bangkok - Pakse
Fly from Bangkok to Pakse. Transfer to Champasak.
Day 3 : Champasak - Don Khong
Champasak province to Don Khong Island.
Day 4 : Day Excursion to 4000 Islands
Day excursion to 4000 Islands.
Day 5 : Vat Phou Champasak
Morning visit of Vat Phou Champasak, then back to Pakse and fly to Vientiane.
Day 6 : Vientiane
Sightseeing in Vientiane.
Day 7 : Vientiane – Luang Nam Tha – Muang Sing
Fly from Vientiane to Luang Nam Tha and then transfer to Muang Sing, in Laos' northwestern corner.
Day 8 : Muang Sing
Trek in the nearby jungle and visit artisan villages.
Day 9 : Muang Sing - Nongkhiaw
Travel from Muang Sing to Nongkhiaw via Luang Nam Tha.
Day 10 : Nongkhiaw
Trek to Tham Kaang and on to the local villages of Ban Houay Boor and Ban Na.
Day 11 : Nongkhiaw - Luang Prabang
Nongkhiaw to Luang Prabang by boat, visiting the Pak Ou Caves en route.
Day 12 : Luang Prabang
We explore the highlights of charming Luang Prabang
Day 13 : Luang Prabang
Kayaking excursion and free time to explore Luang Prabang.
Day 14 : Departure
Transfer to the airport for your flight onwards.
DATES: Best time to go: January - February, November Departures: Nov 18, 2014 - Dec 1, 2014
$600 internal airfare – Bangkok/Pakse/Vientiane/
Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport HotelBangkok
The Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport is a 4 star hotel located 10 min walk from Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok. Boasting 612 comfortable and contemporary rooms, the hotel also offers 2 bars and 4 restaurants. With a 24 hr airport shuttle every 10 min from Gate 4 Level 2 and parking available, there is no better place to stay.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.
Sylvain is a French national but lives in Thailand. He had his first contact with Asia at the age of 17, when the first refugees from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam arrived in France in 1976. Trying to teach them French, he was soon “adopted” by a Lao family, living with them during his studies at Lyon University, and ended up learning the language and customs. He has worked and led tours in South East Asia including Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia, but also in his favorite “Area”: India, and the Himalayan countries (Ladakh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet) where he has his dearest friends, and throughout the years enriched his self-taught knowledge of Aisa’s arts and customs, Hinduism and Buddhism. He has more than a liking for Buddhism and it’s pieces of Art. He lends his first hand experience of Asian art, history, Hinduism and Buddhism to all the groups he has the pleasure of leading.. He was one of the very first foreigners to visit the newly re-opened Laos from north to south. Sylvain speaks French, English, Thai, Lao, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.